Dem asks Issa to investigate News Corp.

A Democratic lawmaker is calling on Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to investigate allegations that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. bribed foreign law enforcement officials and possibly hacked the phones of U.S. citizens.

Rep. Bruce BraleyBruce Lowell BraleyOPINION | Tax reform, not Trump-McConnell feuds, will make 2018 a win for GOP Ten years later, House Dems reunite and look forward Trump: Ernst wanted 'more seasoning' before entertaining VP offer MORE (D-Iowa), who sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, called on the panel’s chairman to investigate whether the U.S.-based company has violated U.S. laws and the rights of U.S. victims of 9/11.

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“Our committee has jurisdiction to look into these very troubling allegations against News Corp. and find out whether any federal laws were violated such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials or other types of criminal violations,” Braley said Thursday in an interview with CNN. 

The controversy surrounding News Corp. came to a head this week as one of the company’s best-selling British newspapers, the News of the World, was shuttered over allegations that employees bribed U.K. law enforcement officials and illegally hacked phones in pursuit of stories.

Braley said he was worried that U.S. citizens also may have had their cell phone records targeted, saying, “We owe it to the American public to find out if victims have been subject to criminal actions by News Corporation and its affiliates.”

Issa told The Hill on Wednesday evening that it was still too early to determine whether the committee would look into the issue, but that he would talk to his staff of investigators and counsels. 

“Nothing is completely off limits, but let me look into it and get back to you,” he said.

On Thursday, Issa’s staff said they hadn’t had a chance to look into the issue yet and that in all likelihood they would wait until the rapidly unfolding fiasco slowed down and there were some hard facts to determine whether it warrants investigating. 

Braley is the first lawmaker to call on Congress to investigate the issue, but on Wednesday Sens. Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Overnight Tech: Trump nominates Dem to FCC | Facebook pulls suspected baseball gunman's pages | Uber board member resigns after sexist comment Trump nominates former FCC Dem for another term MORE (D-W.Va.), Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerThe ‘bang for the buck’ theory fueling Trump’s infrastructure plan Kamala Harris endorses Gavin Newsom for California governor Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response MORE (D-Calif.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezPoll: Menendez has 17-point lead over GOP challenger Russian attacks on America require bipartisan response from Congress Justice Dept intends to re-try Menendez in corruption case MORE (D-N.J.) wrote Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderComey's book tour is all about 'truth' — but his FBI tenure, not so much James Comey and Andrew McCabe: You read, you decide Eric Holder headed to New Hampshire for high-profile event MORE and asked the Justice Department to investigate the company.

Also on Wednesday, Rep. Pete King (N.Y.), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, was the first Republican to call for a probe when he asked the FBI to investigate allegations of bribery and wiretapping against News Corp.