WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Attorney General Eric Holder will reassure families of September 11 victims when he meets them later this month that the Justice Department is seriously investigating allegations that News Corp reporters tried to hack victims’ phones.
“I’ll certainly want to hear what they have to say with regard to their concerns and, to the extent that I can share information with them, I will,” Holder said on Wednesday.
“I will try to reassure them that this is something we are taking seriously,” he told reporters.
Holder will meet with the families on August 24 at their request following a report in Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper that reporters with the rival News of the World had offered to pay a New York police officer for private phone records of some victims of the 2001 attacks.
The Mirror report, citing an unidentified source, has yet to be independently verified but has fueled speculation that the phone hacking scandal that has rocked Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp media empire in Britain may spread to the United States.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation into the hacking allegation after the Daily Mirror report appeared.
The amount of information that Holder can share with the victims’ families will likely be limited because of the ongoing investigation.
During an inquiry by members of Britain’s Parliament in London last month, Murdoch said there was nothing to suggest his reporters had hacked the phones of September 11 victims.
Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Anthony Boadle