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Simon Ateba sues White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre after credentials revoked

On behalf of , Today News Africa's White House correspondent, a lawsuit has been filed against White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, and the Secret Service. The lawsuit alleges that Ateba's credentials were unlawfully revoked, claiming violations of his First Amendment rights due to exclusion from briefings without sufficient justification. The Center for American Liberty, a nonprofit organization established by lawyer and Republican Party official Harmeet Dhillon, filed the lawsuit last week.

According to the complaint, the White House implemented stringent criteria for press credentials in May 2023. Ateba argues that these criteria resulted in the exclusion of his participation, despite multiple attempts to engage through written requests and unanswered questions during briefings. The lawsuit highlights Jean-Pierre's alleged ignorance towards Ateba's inquiries and his limited access to information about the White House's activities.

While it remains unclear whether Ateba's vocal presence during briefings contributed to the White House's decision not to renew his credentials, the Center cites the termination of his badge without explanation as a violation of due process.

Ateba's involvement in contentious situations within the briefing room has led to warnings about potential revocation of his press badge for disruptive behavior and interruptions. Other White House correspondents have claimed that Ateba's attempt to be heard has been disruptive. In March, Ateba reportedly criticized Jean-Pierre for trivializing the First Amendment by entering the briefing room accompanied by the cast of the "Ted Lasso" TV show.

The tradition of making out-of-turn remarks and posing questions after speakers finish their addresses is commonly observed in the White House.

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