Screenshot: Collin Rugg

Catherine Herridge, a veteran investigative journalist formerly with CBS News, accused the network of committing “journalistic rape” when they seized her files after her firing in February.

“I was locked out of my emails and I was locked out of the office. CBS News seized hundreds of pages of my reporting files including confidential source information,” Herridge said during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday.

“When the network of Walter Cronkite seizes your reporting files, including confidential source information, that is an attack on investigative journalism.”

The Political Insider reported that CBS had seized Herridge’s files, computers, and records. The network though, vowed nobody would go through them and that the documents were locked safely in her office.

The firing of Herridge and the way that it was handled, not to mention the timing, initially raised eyebrows, as she had been investigating an aspect of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal at the time.

RELATED: Investigative Journalist Catherine Herridge, Who Had Files Taken By CBS, Held In Contempt

Catherine Herridge Hammers CBS

The testimony by Catherine Herridge exposing CBS News was nothing short of damning.

In addition to the laptop investigation, the award-winning reporter had been covering the House impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, special counsel Robert Hur’s report on his handling of classified documents, and criminal charges against Hunter Biden.

“I can only speak for myself. When my records were seized, I felt it was a journalistic rape,” she stated.

Herridge’s firing itself was quite a shock to the public. She was a surprise casualty of the network’s layoffs despite an award-winning ability to provide breaking news and insider scoops.

The network subsequently seizing her materials, however, was nothing short of alarming. The ramifications, according to Herridge, were far-reaching.

“CBS News’ decision to seize my reporting records crossed a red line that I believe should never be crossed by any media organization,” the Emmy Award-winner testified.

“Multiple sources said they were concerned that by working with me to expose government corruption and misconduct they would be identified and exposed.”

RELATED: CBS News Chief Behind Firing Of Catherine Herridge To Receive Free Speech Award

CBS Denies Anything Out Of The Ordinary

Despite Catherine Herridge’s repeated accusations that the network seized her files, CBS maintains they did nothing out of the ordinary.

The New York Post reports on the network’s claim that “no one had rifled through the files and that they were eventually locked inside Herridge’s former office in Washington, DC, before being returned.”

President of CBS News Ingrid Ciprián-Matthews, who was involved in the firing of Catherine Herridge, later received a First Amendment Award from the RTDNA Foundation.

Earlier this year, Herridge was held in civil contempt by a federal judge for refusing to reveal her source for a series of stories published in 2017.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper imposed significant fines until Herridge complies. She is being pressured to reveal the identity of a source used for a report written that year regarding a Chinese American scientist who was investigated by the FBI but never charged with wrongdoing.

The case, as well as CBS News firing and handling of her files, has significant First Amendment implications.

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