By Brendan Sasso - 07/19/11 04:38 PM EDT
Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday that the Justice Department is investigating allegations that News Corp. journalists hacked into the phones of American citizens.
On Tuesday, News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch testified before a committee of the British Parliament over his company’s global phone-hacking scandal.
News Corp. journalists are accused of listening to people’s private voicemails in both the U.K. and the U.S.
Members of Congress began calling for an investigation into the media conglomerate when reports surfaced that journalists had hacked into the phones of 9/11 victims.
Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) and Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) all called for the U.S. government to investigate the allegations.
“It is horrifying to consider the possibility that the victims of the 9/11 tragedy would be victimized again by an international newspaper seeking information about their personal suffering,” Menendez wrote in a letter to Holder last week.
Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) on Monday sent a letter to the heads of telecommunications associations asking about the security of phones from hacking.
Murdoch testified before a parliamentary committee alongside his son James Murdoch, and said, “This is the most humble day of my life.” But the media mogul also denied ultimate responsibility for the scandal, blaming “the people I trusted and the people they trusted.”
Murdoch emphasized repeatedly that the News of the World, the now-defunct tabloid at the center of the scandal, was a small portion of the massive company.
The hearing was interrupted when a protester appeared to lunge at the Murdochs. According to CNN, the protestor hit Rupert Murdoch “squarely in the face” with a plate of shaving cream.
Wendi Deng, Murdoch’s wife, jumped up from her seat and reached out at the protester.
The hearing resumed after police escorted the protester from the room.
This story was updated at 3:24 pm.