Braley, Cummings Demand Investigation of News Corp. on Heels of 9/11 Anniversary Print
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Kira Ayish   
Friday, 16 September 2011 07:21

Braley and Cummings Lead Eight Oversight Committee Democrats in Calling for Investigation

Washington, DC – Amid allegations that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation sought to hack the telephones of September 11th victims and other U.S. citizens, Congressmen Bruce Braley (IA-01) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (MD-07), joined by six other Oversight Committee Members, called on Chairman Darrell Issa today to investigate the allegations.

Rep. Braley previously sent two letters to Chairman Issa, one with fellow Committee Member John F. Tierney, following reports that the company and its subsidiaries may have bribed foreign law enforcement officials and potentially hacked the phone lines of U.S. citizens. Chairman Issa has not responded to either of these letters.

Since these requests, the Justice Department reportedly has opened a preliminary criminal investigation into these allegations, including whether the actions of News Corp. officials may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

“As you know, we have just observed the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks on our nation and these victims deserve to know whether they were targeted in this offensive and potentially illegal manner,” the letter said.  “We request that the Committee at least take preliminary steps to determine how to proceed, such as meeting with the September 11th families, consulting with the Department of Justice, and pursuing other measures the Committee has utilized in many other investigations.”

“I’m extremely disappointed that Chairman Issa has not responded to my repeated calls for an investigation of News Corp,” said Rep. Braley. “I’m pleased that Ranking Member Cummings and six Oversight Committee members have now joined me in calling for this investigation. Yesterday, our nation observed the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. The victim’s families of these horrific attacks deserve to know whether their loved ones were targeted in this offensive and potentially illegal manner.”

“The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has a responsibility to protect the interests of U.S. citizens against the illegal actions of corporations, regardless of their political leanings,” the letter said.

A copy of the letter is copied below and a link is available here: http://go.usa.gov/0PP

 

###

Dear Mr. Chairman:

We are writing again to request that the Committee investigate recent allegations of illegal actions by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, including in particular allegations that the company sought to hack the telephones of September 11th victims and other U.S. citizens.

This is the third letter that has been sent to you on this topic.  The first letter was sent on July 13, 2011, by Congressman Bruce Braley, and the second letter was sent on July 28, 2011, by Congressman Braley and Congressman John Tierney.  Both letters are attached for your review.  It is unacceptable that you have not even replied to these previous requests.  As you know, we have just observed the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks on our nation and these victims deserve to know whether they were targeted in this offensive and potentially illegal manner.[1]

Since these previous requests were sent to you, the Justice Department reportedly has opened a preliminary criminal investigation into these allegations, including whether the actions of News Corporation officials may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.[2] We do not want to interfere unduly with this ongoing investigation, but we request that the Committee at least take preliminary steps to determine how to proceed, such as meeting with the September 11 families, consulting with the Department of Justice, and pursuing other measures the Committee has utilized in many other investigations.

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has a responsibility to protect the interests of U.S. citizens against the illegal actions of corporations, regardless of their political leanings.  We hope you will provide a response to this request as soon as possible, and we thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Bruce L. Braley                         Elijah E. Cummings

John Tierney                        William Lacy Clay

Jim Cooper                         Peter Welch

John Yarmuth                        Christopher Murphy


[1] See, e.g., Phone Hacking:  9/11 Victims ‘May Have Had Mobiles Tapped by News of the World Reporters’, Daily Mirror (Nov. 7, 2011).

[2] Justice Dept. to Probe if News Corp. Hacked Sept. 11 Families, NPR (Aug. 24, 2011) (online at www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/08/24/139927904/justice-dept-to-probe-if-news-corp-hacked-9-11-families).

Office of Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01)

1727 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

(P) 202.225.2911

(F) 202.225.6666