The FBI is reportedly deferring to Scotland Yard on an investigation into alleged bribes paid by News of the World reporters to police officers in the United Kingdom.
The agency will not mount an “aggressive investigation” into payments, which could run afoul of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Bloomberg News reported Thursday.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder previously confirmed that the Justice Department had opened an investigation into scandal-ridden News Corp. after receiving letters from U.S. lawmakers calling for a probe. But Holder did not make it clear whether the department was investigating alleged phone hacking of Sept. 11 victims or potential violations of the FCPA, which prohibits bribes to foreign officials, or both.
Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch’s media empire continued its legal hiring binge. The committee established by News Corp. to investigate the ongoing scandal has hired the London office of Arnold & Porter LLP, the firm said Friday.
Partner Kathleen Harris will lead the firm’s efforts assists the management and standards committee. The firm will report to Viet Dinh, who directed legal policy under the Bush Justice Department and now heads the News Corp. committee. Harris joined Arnold & Porter in June after she left the U.K. Serious Fraud Office where she was the head of the fraud business group.
News Corp. had already hired several big name lawyers. The company retained Debevoise & Plimpton LLP partners Mary Jo White, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and former Bush-era Attorney General Michael Mukasey. They also hired Mark Mendelsohn of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, who led the Justice Department’s stepped up enforcement of the FCPA, and Williams & Connoly LLP partner Brendan Sullivan, one of the most sought after white-collar defense lawyers.