Judge holds veteran journalist Catherine Herridge in civil contempt for refusing to divulge source

March 01, 2024

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge held veteran investigative reporter Catherine Herridge in civil contempt on Thursday for refusing to divulge her source for a series of stories during her time at Fox News about a Chinese American scientist who was investigated by the FBI but never charged. U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper in Washington imposed a fine of $800 dollars per day until Herridge complies, but the fine will not go into effect immediately to give her time to appeal. A lawyer for Herridge, Patrick Philbin, declined to comment. The source is being sought by Yanpin Chen, who has sued the government over the leak of details about the federal probe into statements she made on immigration forms related to work on a Chinese astronaut program. The judge ruled that Chen’s need to know for the sake of her lawsuit overcomes Herridge’s right to shield her source, despite the “vital importance of a free press and the critical role” that confidential sources play in journalists’ work.