News Corp. Expands Internal Investigation

Lawyers look for evidence of U.S. law breaking

While the U.K. prepares for its inquiry into the News Corp. hacking scandal, Rupert Murdoch's media giant is expanding its own internal inquiry into its Stateside operations.

A source told Reuters that attorneys from Linklaters, the London firm handling the internal probe, are looking for anything that U.S. government investigators might construe as evidence that News Corp. violated U.S. law—in particular, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bans corrupt payments to foreign officials.

Another source said that although the internal inquiry is looking into journalistic practices across all of News International’s U.K. newspapers, it doesn’t mean that there is evidence that illegal activity occurred at any of the company’s currently operating British papers.

Lawyers are planning to interview certain journalists—especially those involved in “sensitive reporting projects”—and will be looking at emails and financial records, including proof of cash payouts and “questionable payments” to police officers or other government officials.

The inquiry is under the “ultimate control” of Joel Klein, a U.S. News Corp. exec who worked at the White House and Justice Department under President Clinton, later serving as New York City School Chancellor until he resigned to take a position at Murdoch’s company; Viet Dinh, an outside News Corp. director who also worked at the Justice Department; and the Management and Standards Committee, a unit Murdoch created to handle the response to the hacking affair.