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Senator Asks UK Panel Whether News International Broke U.S. Laws


The senator's letter came a day after a harsh UK parliamentary report on News International's -- News Corp's British newspaper arm -- phone hacking practices. The report ultimately concluded that the company's chief executive, Rupert Murdoch, is "not a fit person" to run an international media company.

Those following the hacking scandal closely believe that the select committee's report raises the chances that the FBI and DOJ -- already looking into News Corp. -- will more rigorously pursue cases in the U.S.

Mark Lewis -- a British lawyer representing the family of Milly Dowler, a teenage murder victim whose phone was hacked -- is looking into potential lawsuits in the U.S., but he has yet to file anything. Meanwhile, News Corporation's board of directors on Wednesday issued a unanimous statement of support for Murdoch.

In the letter to Leveson acknowledging as many of 5,000 "potential" phone hacking victims, Rockefeller wrote that he is "concerned about the possibility that some of these undisclosed victims are U.S. citizens, and the possibility that telephone networks under the jurisdiction of U.S. laws were used to intercept their voice mail messages."

Rockefeller concluded his letter by asking if there is any evidence that News Corporation officials were aware of News International's egregious activities. Murdoch has been somewhat sheltered from the scandal as it unfolds across the Atlantic from his home and corporate headquarters. But Rockefeller's letter is evidence that things may be heating up for the media mogul at home.

Read the full letter below:

Sen. Jay Rockefeller letter to UK's Leveson Inquiry

About The Author


David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at