Former CBS Reporter Catherine Herridge Testifies Against Network, Alleges Seizure of Reporting Files

Catherine Herridge, the renowned investigative journalist formerly of CBS News, made explosive accusations against her former network during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday. Herridge, known for her reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, described CBS’s actions as a “journalistic rape” after her dismissal.

In her testimony titled “Fighting for a Free Press: Protecting Journalists and their Sources,” Herridge condemned CBS’s decision to seize her reporting files, including confidential source information, following her termination in February. She emphasized the seriousness of the network’s actions, framing them as an assault on investigative journalism.

“When my records were seized, I felt it was a journalistic rape,” Herridge told the committee. “When the network of Walter Cronkite seizes your reporting files, including confidential source information, that is an attack on investigative journalism.”

Herridge, currently embroiled in a First Amendment case, expressed concern that confiscating her files could endanger her sources. She described CBS’s actions as crossing a red line that no media organization should breach.

“CBS News’ decision to seize my reporting records crossed a red line that I believe should never be crossed by any media organization,” Herridge stated. “Multiple sources said they were concerned that by working with me to expose government corruption and misconduct, they would be identified and exposed.”

Herridge, who spent nearly five years at CBS News before being let go along with 19 other staffers, criticized the network’s response to the controversy. While CBS defended its actions, Herridge and her union, SAG-AFTRA, protested until her files were returned.

During the hearing, Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) questioned Herridge about her coverage of Hunter Biden and the Biden family. Herridge asserted that she reported the facts objectively, prompting Jordan to criticize CBS for firing her despite her impartial reporting.

In addition to Herridge’s testimony, former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson also spoke about her experiences at the network, highlighting concerns about journalistic integrity and government interference.

Herridge’s case underscores broader issues of press freedom and protection of sources. As her legal battle continues, she remains committed to upholding the principles of the First Amendment and defending the role of a free and vibrant press.

“This is not a battle you can fight alone,” Herridge remarked, expressing gratitude for the support from fellow journalists and her former employer, Fox News, which is backing her legal defense.

Herridge’s testimony comes at a pivotal moment for press freedom legislation, with Congress considering measures to strengthen protections for journalists and their sources. The House passed the Press Act in January, signaling growing bipartisan support for safeguarding journalistic independence.