Today, U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, demanded that FBI Director Robert Mueller investigate allegations that News Corporation journalists working at News of the World attempted to obtain phone records of 9/11 victims through bribery and unauthorized wiretapping.
In a letter to Director Mueller, King wrote: "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."
The signed letter is available on the Committee's website.
The text of the letter sent to Director Mueller follows:
July 13, 2011
The Honorable Robert S. Mueller, III
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
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