On Meet The Press today, Sen. Dick Durbin called for both an FBI and a criminal investigation into Rupert Murdoch.
Here is the video from MSNBC:
Before I let you both go, I want to ask you about the breaking news this morning and– and the reported arrests of Rebecca Brooks– News of the World in Great Britain. And this scandal that’s unfolding in the Murdoch– media empire. It’s something that also has reached here in the United States. Would you like to see Congressional hearings as to whether there’s any– you know, tie here to the United States in this phone hacking scandal, Senator Durbin?
SENATOR DICK DURBIN:
Yes, I would. I could tell you that there are questions about whether the Foreign Corps Practices Act has been violated by Rupert Murdoch and his– news empire. And what’s going on in England is startling. To think of the extent that they went to to break the law to try to report a story. We need to follow through with the FBI investigation and also with Congressional investigation.
Senator DeMint, what do you think?
SENATOR JIM DEMINT:
David, we need to let law enforcement work here. Congress has had– has got a big issue in front of us. We need to handle our own business for a change. And wi– the focus this week is on the on– the only plan we’ve got and that’s cut cap and balance.
The big news is that Asst. Majority Leader Sen. Dick Durbin is calling for both an FBI and a congressional investigation into Rupert Murdoch. The initial investigation would center around whether any part of Murdoch’s empire violated US law. As Sen. Barbara Boxer has pointed out, News Corp is based in America, so we need to know whether an American corporation broke America’s laws. Republican reluctance to touch this issue was typified by Sen. Jim DeMint’s avoidance of the Murdoch question.
Who would have thought that we could ever see the day when Rupert Murdoch would be a toxic subject for elected Republicans? News Corp has been their primary media outlet and benefactor. It was less than a year ago that Republicans like Sarah Palin were counseling GOP candidates to avoid the media, and take their message to Fox News. Republican candidates and politicians wooed conservative support by proclaiming their love for Fox News.
Today, the mention of Murdoch’s name sent Jim DeMint ducking and dodging.
What was most telling about DeMint’s answer to David Gregory was what he didn’t say. The South Carolina senator never said that an investigation would be a waste of time. He didn’t label it a partisan witch hunt. All he said was that we have to let law enforcement do their work. Even Jim DeMint doesn’t trust Murdoch enough to defend him right now. (Of course, this hasn’t stopped John McCain from criticizing any potential investigation into News Corp, but McCain has always been a talk first think never kind of pol).
As the scandal continues to mushroom, a US congressional investigation into Murdoch and News Corp is looking more likely. If evidence surfaces that 9/11 victims were also hacked, Rupert Murdoch will find himself facing a very hostile Senate committee in the not too distant future, but if evidence of criminal activity is found, a hostile committee will be least of Rupert Murdoch’s problems.