Home / News / Judge sentences veteran journalist Catherine Herridge to civil contempt for refusing to reveal source – Chicago Tribune

Judge sentences veteran journalist Catherine Herridge to civil contempt for refusing to reveal source – Chicago Tribune


A federal judge on Thursday charged veteran investigative reporter Catherine Herridge with civil contempt for refusing to disclose the source of a series of stories about a Chinese American scientist who was investigated by the FBI during her time at Fox News but never charged.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper in Washington imposed a fine of $800 a day until Herridge complies, but the sentence will not take effect immediately to give him time to appeal.

Herridge’s attorney, Patrick Philbin, declined to comment.

The source is being sought by Yanpin Chen, who is suing the government after details about the federal investigation were leaked in statements he made on immigration forms related to his work in the Chinese astronaut program.

Herridge, who was recently fired by CBS News, published an investigative series for Fox News in 2017 that examined Chen’s ties to the Chinese military and raised questions about whether the scientist was using a professional school he founded in Virginia to help the Chinese government. Information about American soldiers.

The stories were based, his lawyers claimed, on leaked items from the investigation, including fragments of an FBI document summarizing an interview conducted during the investigation, personal photographs, and information from immigration and naturalization forms and an internal FBI PowerPoint presentation.

Chen sued the FBI and the Department of Justice in 2018, saying his personal information was selectively leaked in order to “tarnish his reputation and harm his livelihood.”

The judge had ordered Herridge to answer questions about his source or sources during a deposition with Chen’s lawyers in August. The judge ruled that despite “the vital importance of a free press and the critical role confidential sources play in the work of journalists,” the need to obtain information on behalf of Chen’s case overrides Herridge’s right to protect his source.


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