Obama Judge Holds Journalist Catherine Herridge In Contempt For Not Revealing Source
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Catherine Herridge attends Paramount’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner after party at the Residence of the French Ambassador on April 30, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Shedrick Pelt / Getty Images

A federal judge tapped by former President Barack Obama ruled on Thursday to hold veteran investigative journalist Catherine Herridge in civil contempt for refusing to reveal who her source was for a series of reports about a Chinese scientist working at an American university who was under FBI criminal investigation.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper imposed a fine of $800 per day — nearly $300,000 per year — until Herridge reveals who her source was for the stories that she wrote while at Fox News.

“Herridge and many of her colleagues in the journalism community may disagree with that decision and prefer that a different balance be struck, but she is not permitted to flout a federal court’s order with impunity,” Cooper wrote.

Cooper said that Herridge, who is widely respected for being impartial and pursuing stories that many in the mainstream media ignore, must reveal how she learned about the federal investigation, which centered around learning whether the Chinese scientist lied about her military service and if her school’s student database could be accessed by the Chinese.


The Chinese national sued the federal government claiming that it gave Herridge information that violated their privacy, “including snippets of an FBI document summarizing an interview conducted during the investigation, personal photographs, and information taken from her immigration and naturalization forms and from an internal FBI PowerPoint presentation,” the Associated Press reported.

Fox News blasted the ruling in a statement late on Thursday: “Holding a journalist in contempt for protecting a confidential source has a deeply chilling effect on journalism. Fox News Media remains committed to protecting the rights of a free press and freedom of speech and believes this decision should be appealed.”

Related: CBS Seized Confidential Files From Fired Reporter Who Was Pursuing Hunter Biden Story

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