Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate committee on commerce, science and transportation, has written to Lord Justice Leveson, who leads the British judicial inquiry into media ethics, asking if he has uncovered any evidence relating questionable practices in the US.
"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 US citizens," Rockefeller writesin a letter released on Wednesday.
The development adds to the potential dangers facing News Corp, a publicly-traded company with its headquarters in New York. Rockefeller has taken a close interest in the unfolding phone-hacking saga, but it is the first time that a Senate committee member has acted in his official capacity.
The commerce committee covers all means of communications in the US – including telecommunications, free-to-air broadcasting and cable TV. It also has oversight over the Federal Communications Commission, the regulatory body that has final say on the issuing of broadcast licences, including the 27 licences issued to the Fox TV network that is the jewel in Murdoch's crown.
Will the UK investigation start opening the floodgates here in the U.S.?