Another powerful Senator has called for an investigation into Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. after continued allegations and arrests into the phone hacking scandal in Britain.

Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the second-ranking Senate Democrat, has called for congressional hearings and investigations of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire to determine whether it employed illegal practices in the United States.

Durbin called for Congress to investigate the matter after British police arrested Rebekah Brooks Sunday morning in a widening probe of phone hacking and police payoffs by journalists who worked for Murdoch […]

“I can tell you that there are questions about whether the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has been violated by Rupert Murdoch and his news empire and what’s going on in England is startling,” Durbin said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Durbin reiterated Democrats’ demands that the FBI investigate possible illegal practices by Murdoch’s media companies within the U.S.

“We need to follow through with the FBI investigation and also with congressional investigations,” he said.

It defies logic to suggest that Murdoch’s stateside properties did not engage in the same illegal behavior that his British tabloids engaged in. I would focus on Page Six at the New York Post in particular, as that was the closest thing to a British-style tabloid in this country. I don’t think there’s any question that you would find some line-crossing there. And even if the US properties were somehow squeaky clean, allegations about hacking into the voicemails of 9-11 victims or hacking into Jude Law’s phone while he was on US soil, or the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, offer plenty of support for Congressional hearings, in addition to the ongoing FBI case.

Meanwhile, the whistleblower in the News Corp. scandal has turned up dead.

Sean Hoare, the former News of the World showbiz reporter who was the first named journalist to allege Andy Coulson was aware of phone hacking by his staff, has been found dead, the Guardian has learned.

Hoare, who worked on the Sun and the News of the World with Coulson before being dismissed for drink and drugs problems, is said to have been found dead at his Watford home.

Hertfordshire police would not confirm his identity, but the force said in a statement: “At 10.40am today [Monday 18 July] police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for the welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street. Upon police and ambulance arrival at a property, the body of a man was found. The man was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.

“The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing.”

I think “suspicious” about covers it.

David Dayen

David Dayen