GOPer wants FBI probe of Murdoch
By: Seung Min Kim
New York Republican Pete King is calling on the FBI to investigate whether Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation hacked into the voicemail accounts of 911 victims, calling the allegations of the scandal “disgraceful.”
“As I see it, I would expect more things to be coming out over the next several weeks,” King told POLITICO. “And as we approach 9/11, the tenth anniversary, it’s even going to get worse.”
King said he plans to send a letter to the bureau this afternoon.
A number of Democratic senators are also calling for inquiries into the scandal. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) is calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, asked for an investigation on Tuesday into whether American phones were hacked by News Corp. reporters. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) says she supports Rockefeller. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J) wants authorities to look into allegations that News of the World reporters bribed London police for information about the British royal family.
The Daily Mirror in London reported that News of the World journalists tried to get phone data involving the victims of the terror attacks.
“It is horrifying to consider the possibility that the victims of the 9/11 tragedy would be victimized again by an international newspaper seeking information about their personal suffering,” Menendez wrote in his letter.
In his letter, Lautenberg expressed “deep concerns” about the bribery accusations, noting that if true, that could violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars a U.S. company from paying foreign officials in exchange for business.
Even if the reporters were stationed in England, Lautenberg noted that News Corporation itself, since it’s based in the United States, would be subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
“The limited information already reported in this case raises serious questions about the legality of the conduct of News Corporation and its subsidiaries under the FCPA,” Lautenberg writes in the two-page letter sent to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. “Further investigation may reveal that current reports only scratch the surface of the problem at News Corporation.”
Lautenberg also said he was concerned about the allegations involving the phone-hacking of Sept. 11 victims, calling it “troubling.”
News Corp. declined to comment on the senators’ calls.