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WATCH: Catherine Herridge Breaks Her Silence with Powerful Statement at House Hearing

In a striking rebuke of the Biden DOJ’s assault on journalistic freedoms, Catherine Herridge faced down government overreach in the House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing, championing the Press Act while her own legal battle against compelled source disclosure unfolds. Herridge, renowned for her work with Fox News and CBS News, delivered her opening statement on Thursday, marking her first public words since being embroiled in a significant First Amendment dispute.

Herridge, who is facing contempt of court charges for refusing to disclose her sources in stories involving a scientist under FBI scrutiny, transitioned to CBS News from Fox News in 2019. Unfortunately, she was part of a group of 20 employees laid off by CBS in February. The hearing on Thursday went on to criticize the federal government’s encroachments on the press freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. Herridge, recently held in contempt of court for her refusal to disclose her sources, pointed to the existential threats such legal actions pose to journalistic integrity and the free flow of information crucial to a democratic society.

“I was held in contempt of court for refusing to disclose my confidential sources on a national security story,” Herridge recounted. “This legislation will provide protections for every working journalist in the United States now and for the next generation,” she explained, referring to the Bipartisan Press Act.

Herridge’s testimony vividly painted the chilling effect that the threat of contempt charges and the pressure to reveal confidential sources exert on investigative journalism. She argued that without stringent protections, the willingness of sources to come forward with vital information would severely diminish, undermining the press’s role in holding power to account. Drawing from her own harrowing experience, Herridge called attention to the implications of her case, which stems from a Privacy Act lawsuit. “Forcing a reporter to disclose confidential sources would have a crippling effect on investigative journalism,” she explained.

WATCH:

Amidst personal and professional turmoil, including being laid off and having her reporting files seized by CBS News, Herridge’s resolve has only strengthened. “The First Amendment, the protection of confidential sources, and a free press are my guiding principles,” she said, expressing her gratitude for the wide-ranging support from fellow journalists, First Amendment organizations, and notably, her former employer, Fox News.

“I deeply appreciate the Committee’s commitment to this legislation and holding this public hearing,” Herridge concluded.

Herridge has been recognized for her detailed reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. She is also an award-winning journalist who departed CBS News in February amid layoffs by its corporate parent Paramount. Herridge is said to have met with X CEO Linda Yaccarino at The Jefferson Hotel in Washington, DC, earlier in March for a potential show on the platform.

The veteran investigative journalist was also found in civil contempt in March after a judge ordered Herridge to produce the names of sources who leaked information about the FBI’s interrogations of scientist Yanping Chen, who is suing the government. Under an Obama-appointed judge’s order, Herridge faced a fine of $800 per day every 24 hours that she refused to out her sources. The reports, published during Herridge’s tenure at Fox News, led Chen to initiate a lawsuit against the FBI in 2018. Herridge has claimed the agency violated her privacy by leaking information without authorization. In 2022, Chen sought to compel Herridge and Fox News to reveal the source of the leaks through a legal subpoena, a move both resisted by citing First Amendment rights.

CBS’s decision to terminate the acclaimed investigative reporter back in February was controversial as well. The network took drastic measures by confiscating Herridge’s files, computers, and records, which included sensitive information on privileged sources according to reports.

READ 8 COMMENTS
  • Michelle says:

    This Judge has no integrity because by telling her sources, she loses her credibility. I give her props for fighting for what is RIGHT and a judge should know the difference between right and wrong, making this judge an embarrassment! $ 800 daily is wrong,,,This judge must go!

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