News & Politics

A Conservative Lawyer Said No to Joining Trump’s Legal Team. Now He’s Representing CNN in Its Suit Against Him

DC attorney Ted Olson is leading the fight over Jim Acosta's White House credentials

CNN and its chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, are bringing their battle with the White House to the courts. On Tuesday morning, CNN announced that they are suing President Trump and senior officials for yanking Acosta’s Secret Service security credential, which the suit calls “severe and unprecedented punishment” and “an unabashed attempt to censor the press and exclude reporters from the White House who challenge and dispute the President’s point of view.”

The lawsuit may prove more personal for Trump than he expected. One of the attorneys involved is Republican lawyer Theodore B. Olson, who reportedly had previously balked at the opportunity to be part of White House’s in-house legal team. Soon after he apparently turned down the White House’s offer, Olson blasted the Trump administration on MSNBC: “I think everybody would agree: This is turmoil, it’s chaos, it’s confusion, it’s not good for anything.”

Now Olson represents Acosta, a constant target of the President’s attacks and symbol of Trump’s deeply frayed relationship with the news media as a whole. Olson is best known for his role representing Bush in the Bush v. Gore case that decided the 2000 election. He is also known for partnering with Democratic lawyer David Boies in 2014 to spearhead the fight against California’s Proposition 8, the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.


Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.