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IPFS News Link • Justice and Judges

"This Judge Should Be Impeached": Journalist Catherine Herridge Fined $800 Per Day...

•, By Tyler Durden

In a case with chilling implications for 1st Amendment press protections, a DC Judge has fined acclaimed Journalist Catherine Herridge $800 per day until she reveals a source used in articles written about American scientist Yanping Chen, who is suing the federal government for leaking information collected on Chen during a FBI investigation into her ties to China.

Judge Christopher Cooper, and Obama appointee, stayed his own ruling for 30 days while Herridge appeals the ruling that she violated his Aug. 1 order demanding she reveal how she learned about the federal probe into Chen, who operated a graduate program in Virginia.

Chen was never charged in connection with the investigation, which sought to determine whether she lied about her military service – or whether her school's student database could be accessed from China. Following leaks to Herridge, Chen sued the federal government alleging that her privacy had been violated.

In September, Herridge sat for a deposition but would not reveal how she obtained the information, citing her First Amendment rights, and telling Chen's lawyer, "I must now disobey the order."

"The Court does not reach this result lightly," wrote Cooper. "It recognizes the paramount importance of a free press in our society and the critical role that confidential sources play in the work of investigative journalists like Herridge. Yet the Court also has its own role to play in upholding the law and safeguarding judicial authority."

Herridge's lawyer, Patrick Philbin, said that he and his client "disagree" and will appeal the decision.