Catherine Herridge CBS files

CBS News returns confidential files to fired reporter

CBS News has returned confidential files to former investigative reporter Catherine Herridge following pressure from the House Judiciary Committee and the journalist’s union.


Herridge was terminated by parent company Paramount Global amid broader layoffs nearly two weeks ago while investigating the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. Her personal files, including her work laptop potentially containing confidential information, were initially confiscated and secured at the CBS News office in Washington, DC.

A CBS News representative confirmed the return of Herridge’s materials, which were picked up by her union representative. SAG-AFTRA, the union representing CBS News employees, verified the return of several boxes containing Herridge’s reporting materials, emphasizing the importance of protecting First Amendment principles.

Wrongful termination

The House Judiciary Committee has initiated a probe into CBS News’ seizure of Herridge’s files as part of her termination. The committee expressed concerns about potential repercussions on journalism and the freedom of the press. CBS News has been requested to provide information by March 1 regarding the handling of Herridge’s files.

CBS clarified that the decision to retain Herridge’s files was a standard human resources matter and not directed by top executives Wendy McMahon or George Cheeks. The network faced criticism from SAG-AFTRA for its actions, which were perceived as a threat to media professionals and the First Amendment.

Legal challenges

Speculation surrounds the reasons for seizing Herridge’s files, including concerns about potential lawsuits for wrongful termination or the protection of sensitive information relevant to her investigations. Herridge is also facing legal challenges for refusing to disclose her sources in previous reporting.

Despite the controversy, Herridge has received support from fellow journalists, viewers, and advocacy groups, particularly for her impactful reporting on issues affecting veterans. The US Justice and Advocacy Group expressed disappointment over Herridge’s dismissal and praised her dedication to holding the government accountable.