Media & Communications Law

TV reporters covering Hastert case cited for breaking federal courthouse rules

  • Print.

Dennis Hastert

Dennis Hastert. Angela Farley /

Two veteran network news reporters were cited last week for allegedly violating Chicago federal courthouse media rules (PDF) while covering the arraignment of former U.S. House speaker Dennis Hastert.

Both Brian Ross of ABC News and Gabe Gutierrez of NBC Nightly News were accused of attempting to interview Hastert outside a designated, roped-off area of the courthouse reserved for the purpose, report the Chicago Tribune (reg. req.) and the Washington Post (reg. req.).

According to court documents, Ross approached Hastert at the security checkpoint and the elevators as he entered. A filing says Gutierrez ran through a closed security checkpoint to try to approach Hastert as he was leaving after the Tuesday hearing. Both reporters have been ordered to show cause why they should not be sanctioned for violating court rules, and a July hearing is scheduled.

The articles don’t include any comment from the networks or defense counsel.

“There is no national rule on how to manage media during high-profile cases. Courts have broad latitude to create local rules,” a spokesman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts told the Post.

The Associated Press also has a story.

Related coverage: “Former House speaker Hastert pleads not guilty to federal charges”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.