House Judiciary Launches Inquiry Into Reporter’s Allegedly Stolen Files

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee has launched an inquiry into CBS News, after the company allegedly held onto personal files from veteran reporter Catherine Herridge after she was fired.

Herridge was one of 800 employees — including 20 journalists — who were let go from the company on February 13. CBS News’ parent company, Paramount Global, initiated the layoff in an effort to cut costs and grow revenue.

But what makes Herridge’s firing unusual is that CBS allegedly held onto the information Herridge had gathered as a reporter. Particularly on the investigation into what was on Hunter Biden’s laptop, and whether President Biden was involved in his son’s business dealings overseas. What is currently happening to Herridge is not what usually happens when journalists and reporters are let go from their jobs.

This alleged confiscation of materials has some people concerned that CBS News is dangerously close to infringing on one of the most basic and fundamental First Amendment rights: Freedom of the press.

Jim Jordan didn’t mince words when he addressed the President of CBS News, Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews, in a letter.

“The actions of CBS News threaten to chill effective journalism and weaken our nation’s commitment to a free press,” Jordan said.

A screenshot of the letter can be found at the link to X below, and the full text of the letter is available for anyone to read at

If Herridge’s personal files are indeed in the possession of CBS News, she likely won’t get them back. But the inquiry led by Jim Jordan aims to do two things: find out who was directly involved in Herridge’s firing, and view any and all communications from people who accessed her personal files. The House Judiciary Committee has given CBS News no later than March 1, 2024, to comply.

Jim Jordan isn’t the only high-profile voice speaking out against the seizing of Catherine Herridge’s personal files. Legal expert Jonathan Turley, who has known Herridge for a years from both a legal and journalistic standpoint, made his stance known in an opinion piece for The Hill on February 22.

“For many of us who have worked in the media for decades, this action is nothing short of shocking. Journalists are generally allowed to leave with their files,” Turley said. “Under the standard contract, including the one at CBS, journalists agree that they will make files available to the network if needed in future litigation. That presupposes that they will retain control of their files.”

As of this article, CBS News has emphatically denied that they confiscated or stole any of Herridge’s information, sources, or files. A CBS News spokesperson made a statement for the network to the New York Post, saying:

“We have respected her request to not go through the files, and out of our concern for confidential sources, the office she occupied has remained secure since her departure.”

Herridge has yet to make a public statement regarding her firing from CBS News.