US Congress: Investigate News Corp. Scandal
July 13, 2011 11:50 am ET by Media Matters staff
Massachusetts Congressman John Tierney joined Congressman Bruce Braley to call on Congressman Darell Issa, Chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee, to hold a hearing on the allegations that News Corp. attempted to hack 9/11 victims and other Americans.
You can read their follow-up letter to Chairman Issa here.
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin called for congressional hearings and criminal investigations into News Corp.'s alleged hacking activites in the U.S. on Meet the Press. He added that "there are questions about whether the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has been violated by Rupert Murdoch and his news empire and what's going on in England is startling."
Michigan Congressman John Conyers, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, announced on Friday that "the Democratic Staff of the House Judiciary Committee will review allegations that News Corp. has engaged in serious and systemic invasions of privacy."
California Congresswoman Anna Eshoo called for House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton to "probe the whole issue of privacy, hacking and this burgeoning scandal at News Corporation," noting that "[w]e cerrtainly [sic] have the jurisdication and I thnk [sic] it needs to be exercised."
Congressman Earl Blumenauer tweeted today that he is "pleased to join colleague Peter King in pressing for Murdoch News Corp investigation by FBI."
Today, New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg called on the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether News Corp. violated US law by allegedly bribing British law enforcement officials.
From Lautenberg's statement:
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) called on Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Mary Schapiro to investigate whether U.S.-based News Corp violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Allegations have arisen that reporters employed by News Corp's News of the World newspaper bribed law enforcement officials, which may be a violation of the FCPA.
"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 wrote. "Further investigation may reveal that current reports only scratch the surface of the problem at News Corporation. Accordingly, I am requesting that DOJ and the SEC examine these circumstances and determine whether U.S. laws have been violated."
You can read Lautenberg's full letter to the DOJ and the SEC here.
Yesterday, West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller raised concerns that News Corp. may have broken US law in its related phone-hacking scandal. As TPM reported:
A powerful U.S. senator with jurisdiction over privacy and telecommunications issues late Tuesday urged regulators to look into whether News. Corp. had violated any U.S. laws when its British journalists gained unauthorized access to several individuals' voice mails to pursue stories.
"The reported hacking by News Corporation newspapers against a range of individuals--including children--is offensive and a serious breach of journalistic ethics," said Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Chairman John D. Rockefeller in a press statement.
"This raises serious questions about whether the company has broken U.S. law, and I encourage the appropriate agencies to investigate to ensure that Americans have not had their privacy violated," he added. "I am concerned that the admitted phone hacking in London by the News Corp. may have extended to 9/11 victims or other Americans. If they did, the consequences will be severe."
California Senator Barbara Boxer has joined Rockefeller in calling on the DOJ and the SEC to investigate whether News Corp. violated the FCPA by allegedly bribing police and whether News Corp. illegally accessed phone records of US residents, including those of 9/11 victims. Boxer and Rockefeller write, "The reported allegations against News Corporation are very serious, indicate a pattern of illegal activity, and involve thousands of potential victims. It is important to ensure that no United States laws were broken and no United States citizens were victimized."
You can read their full letter here.
Additionally, New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez has asked the DOJ to investigate the alleged phone hacking of 9/11 victims, writing, "The U.S. government must ensure that victims in the United States have not been subjected to illegal and unconscionable actions by these newspapers seeking to exploit information about their personal tragedies for profit."
New York Representative Peter King also called for the FBI to investigate News Corp. to see if the voicemails of 9/11 victim's families were hacked into.
Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley sent a letter to House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, calling on him to investigate whether the phone records of 9/11 victims and other U.S. citizens had been illegally accessed by News Corp., writing: "We owe it to the American public to find out if victims have been subject to criminal actions by News Corporation and its affiliates."
New York Congressman Louise Slaughter also expressed concern that News Corp attempted to hack into the voicemails of 9/11 victims, and called for "investigations by the Department of Justice and Congressional hearings" in order to insure the allegations are "investigated with the full force of the law."