Reporter who tangled with Lori Lightfoot sues after press pass was revoked: ‘First Amendment on life support’
A Chicago reporter is taking Mayor Lori Lightfoot to court for her “attack on the First Amendment” after facing a slew of angry responses from the Democratic leader and losing his press credentials.
“I was asking the obvious questions, and she lost her temper,” journalist William Kelly said Wednesday on “Fox & Friends,” recalling a May exchange when she told him he was “full of crap.”
“Mayor Lightfoot is in re-election mode, and she doesn’t want any more embarrassing questions to go viral. So she revoked my media credential. … This is a very serious constitutional crisis in the city of Chicago.”
CHICAGO REPORTER SUES MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT FOR REVOKING PRESS CREDENTIALS: ‘CHILLING EFFECT ON ALL REPORTERS’
In August, Kelly’s media credentials were revoked. He responded by filing a federal lawsuit alleging Lightfoot and Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown violated his First and 14th Amendment rights.
On “Tucker Carlson Tonight” in September, Kelly alleged that Lightfoot and Brown helped fabricate an altercation on July 19 between him and the mayor’s security detail. He added this “false report” was used as the pretext to keep him out of press events.
“The problem is that [Brown] sat down and wrote me a letter telling me that he was revoking my media credentials when the police department is down 1,500 officers, we have an out-of-control crime epidemic, police suicide is at an all-time high,” Kelly said Wednesday. “He’s taking time out of his day to write me a letter telling me that he’s revoking my media credential.
“I think the priorities are completely out of whack.”
Kelly argued that Lightfoot is trying to protect herself from his questions about her “failures in performance” due to her facing re-election and warned that her actions could set a dangerous precedent for reporters and free speech in America.
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“She wants to win this case against me and then expand this attack on the First Amendment to all the reporters who ask her real questions or any reporter nationally who would dare to ask a real question of a powerful politician,” Kelly said.
As Kelly addresses this lawsuit, he echoed concerns that his legal battle is a fight to defend the First Amendment.
“Thankfully, Elon Musk restored the First Amendment on Twitter,” he said. “But in Chicago, the First Amendment is on life support, if not dead.
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“They say you can’t fight City Hall, but we need to fight City Hall to restore the First Amendment if we’re going to have an honest election.”
Fox News’ Yael Halon contributed to this report.