Long Island Congressman Peter King is out with a letter to FBI director Robert Mueller calling on him to open an investigation into Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, after word broke today that the shuttered tabloid News of the World hacked into the phones of 9/11 victims.
In an interview, King said that he was moved to act due to the casualties his district suffered in the attacks and the coming 10th anniversary.
“It’s pretty basic,” he said. “I had over 150 people in my district killed on September 11. There have been reports of hacking into the phones of victims and victims’ families. That would be terrible in any situation, but with the 10th anniversary coming up, I’m asking the FBI to begin an investigation.”
Most of the outrage directed towards News Corp. has been from Democrats, and many on the right have viewed the media company as a necessary corrective against media bias. King said that he was undeterred.
“There is no evidence that Rupert Murdoch is involved,” he said. “I have a good relationship with Rupert Murdoch. I just want this fully investigated, find out who did this, who authorized it, how it happened. I don’t care who it was. It could be somebody in my family, my best friend, I don’t care who it is. Part of my reality is living among many people who lost their friends and family members.”
Full letter below:
Dear Director Mueller:
I am writing to urge that the FBI immediately commence an investigation of News Corporation pertaining to recent media reports alleging that journalists working at the
News of the World, a News Corp. subsidiary, attempted to obtain phone records of victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11th through bribery and unauthorized wiretapping. I make this request not only as the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, but as a Member of Congress who represents a district that lost more than 150 constituents in those terrorist attacks. It is my duty to discern every fact behind these allegations.
According the recent reports, journalists working for the News of the World solicited a New York police officer to gain access to the content of private phone records of 9/11 victims from the days leading to the attacks. It is revolting to imagine that members of the media would seek to compromise the integrity of a public official for financial gain in the pursuit of yellow journalism. The 9/11 families have suffered egregiously, but unfortunately they remain vulnerable against such unjustifiable parasitic strains. We can spare no effort or expense in continuing our support for them.
If these allegations are proven true, the conduct would merit felony charges for attempting to violate various Federal statutes related to corruption of public officials and prohibitions against wiretapping. Any person found guilty of this purported conduct should receive the harshest sanctions available under law.
I look forward to receiving your response on this request, as well as any updates related to your investigations as they become available. Thank you for your consideration of this urgent matter.
PETER T. KING