CBS Under Fire for Confiscating Investigative Journalist’s Files

( – CBS News has shocked journalists and the public alike with its recent firing of veteran investigative reporter Catherine Herridge. But it is not just the fact that the network let her go—CBS allegedly took the unprecedented step of seizing her files, including notes and confidential source materials.

Lawyer and commentator Jonathan Turley wrote in The Hill that CBS employees and staff at the journalists union SAG-AFTRA said they had never seen an action like that before. Journalists are famously protective of their sources, sometimes promising confidentiality to sources who have important information but who would face retaliation if their employers or supervisors knew they had shared it.

Now that Herridge’s confidential notes are reportedly in the hands of network executives, any of her sources may have cause to worry. In addition, CBS reporters may have a more difficult time leveraging information from sources who would fear that their names and confidential information won’t stay with the single reporter they’ve spoken to.

Herridge worked for decades for Fox News before joining CBS in 2019. Unlike most in the mainstream media, Herridge went after stories that raised doubts about the Biden administration. These included the now infamous laptop scandal that enveloped President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, and more recently, the special counsel’s report that raised concerns about Joe Biden’s declining mental capacity.

Commentator Turley said employees at CBS, both past and present, told him confidentially they did not believe Herridge’s lay-off was simply part of cost-cutting measures, despite the network’s claims. Unverified rumors claim CBS executives were displeased with Herridge’s pursuit of stories unflattering to the Biden White House.

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has questions about Herridge’s departure, too. Last week the House Judiciary Committee asked CBS to show them documentation relating to the decision to let Herridge go. In a letter network head Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews, the Committee requested a “briefing” and asked for internal documents about the decision.

For its part, CBS News is disputing that it seized any of Herridge’s materials. In a statement to the Washington Examiner, CBS said it had returned her personal items and was “prepared to pack up the rest of her files” and hand them over with a union representative supervising, as Herridge had requested.

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