The Department of Justice (DoJ) is preparing subpoenas as part of an initial investigation into whether News Corp violated the Foreign Corrupts Practices Act (FCPA) when its British subsidiary allegedly bribed police officers in the U.K.:
The issuance of subpoenas would represent an escalation of scrutiny on the New York-based media company. While the company has sought to isolate the legal problems in the U.K., it has been bracing for increased scrutiny from both the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to people familiar with the company’s strategy.
The probe, which is awaiting approval to proceed from senior DoJ officials, is separate from an ongoing FBI investigation into whether any phone hacking occurred on U.S. soil and comes after calls from lawmakers, ThinkProgress, and others for an investigation. News Corp has bolstered its legal team to prepare for an expected FCPA inquiry, hiring the same law firm that is working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to weaken that very law. A person close to News Corp told the Wall Street Journal, stunningly, that the subpoenas are “a fishing expedition with no evidence to support it” — there is actually plenty of evidence to support it.