Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed that the Justice Department is investigating allegations that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp hacked, or tried to hack, into the phones of 9/11 victims. His comments underlined the seriousness of Murdoch's trouble on both sides of the Atlantic, and came on the same day that his top deputy in Britain resigned her office.
Speaking at a press conference in Australia on Friday, Holder said that "serious allegations" had been made about the conduct of Murdoch's British newspapers. Last week, the Daily Mirror reported that News of the World investigators tried to bribe New York police officers and hack into the voicemails of 9/11 victims and their families. In response, at least four U.S. Senators have called for an investigation into News Corp. On Thursday, the FBI launched a probe into the company.
"There have been members of Congress in the United States who have asked us to investigate those same allegations," Holder said on Friday. "And we are progressing in the regard using the appropriate federal agencies in the United Sates. "
Holder's statement confirms that, even as Murdoch moves to respond to public and political outrage over the scandal at News Corp, it shows no signs of abating. On Friday, News International chief Rebekah Brooks resigned—no great surprise, but still a major blow to the Murdoch empire. It seems Brooks' departure will do little to stem the scandal's tide, however, and she is still scheduled to appear before Parliament on Tuesday to give evidence about phone hacking. (Murdoch himself, along with his son James, are also set to testify.)