Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.,asked British investigators on Wednesday whether there is any evidence that the News Corp. phone hacking and bribery scandal crossed the Atlantic.
"I would like to know whether any of the evidence you are reviewing suggests that these unethical and sometimes illegal business practices occurred in the United States or involved U.S. citizens," Rockefeller wrote in a letter to Lord Justice Brian Leveson, who chairs a panel investigating the case.
Several of Britain's News Corp. organizations, managed by the subsidiary News International, have been accused of illegally intercepting voice mails, as well as bribing police and other government officials. One publication, The News of the World, was shuttered amid the backlash last year, and on Tuesday, a British parliamentary panel said News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch is unfit to lead his global media empire.
American officials have launched preliminary probes, but so far the scandal has not impacted American News Corp. companies like The Wall Street Journal or Fox News.
Rockefeller said he wants to ensure that any unethical conduct didn't involve Americans or American companies.
"Their rights as journalists are very properly counterbalanced by laws that protect citizens' privacy and prevent public corruption," he wrote. "Evidence that is already in the public record clearly shows that for many years, News International had a widespread, institutional disregard for these laws."