Murdoch Lawyers-Up in the USA

News Corp is getting ready for a powerful defense in the US…

Rupert Murdoch is assembling a team of US lawyers with expertise in fighting large federal criminal cases, suggesting he is readying himself for a bitter legal battle in America as a result of the phone-hacking scandal.

At the centre of the team is Brendan Sullivan, one of America’s most experienced lawyers, who over 40 years in litigation has acquired a reputation for taking on difficult and sensitive cases. He represented Oliver North, the US marine corps officer, in congressional hearings over the Iran-Contra affair.

At the time of the hearings in 1987, Sullivan was described by the Washington Post as “the legal equivalent of nuclear war”. A fellow lawyer said: “He asks no quarter and gives no quarter.”

Sullivan describes himself as a specialist in “high-profile criminal litigation”, whose typical clients include major companies involved in “criminal investigations, litigation or government regulatory matters”. He is the author of Techniques for Dealing with Pending Criminal Charges or Criminal Investigations.

Reuters says the 9/11 phone hacking allegations are not based on much, and News Corp insiders say nothing was happening here that compares to the scandal in Great Britain.

Is ‘high-profile criminal litigation’ likely some time in the future?

One of the most damaging aspects of the case in Britain is the incestuous relationship between Murdoch’s media and British government. Two high ranking officers at Scotland Yard have already resigned and Parliament is holding a special session. No one questions that Fox News has a bias, and Fox is a major venue for Republican presidential hopefuls. Have they gone beyond reporting the news to manipulating the news? Is that what News Corp expects to defend?

A point of mild local pride, Brendan Sullivan was born in Providence.

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