Several current and retired reporters from competing news organizations are named in court documents to bolster CNN's defense of Acosta, with two submitting signed declarations. Sam Donaldson, a former chief White House correspondent for ABC who covered White Houses as far back as President John F. Kennedy, wrote in a declaration that he was not aware of any prior situation in which a White House correspondent's hard pass was revoked.
Further, Donaldson wrote,
In my opinion, based on my two decades of experience and the hundreds of White House press conferences in which I have participated, Jim Acosta's conduct and questioning of the President were appropriate and within norms of professional conduct for journalists generally and for a White House reporter specially."
In another declaration, the Washington bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News, Todd J. Gillman, also a board member of the White House Correspondents' Association, describes the application process and the abilities derived from a hard pass for the building, and calls the credential "critical for anyone who reports regularly on the White House."
In its lawsuit, CNN also cites the public backing and corroboration delivered by NBC’s Peter Alexander, The Daily Caller's Chuck Ross and Reuters' Jeff Mason in the aftermath of the post-midterms news conference.