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Brit Blogger Claims ‘Smoking Gun’ Recording Ties Piers Morgan To Hacking

A British blogger who has repeatedly claimed that CNN’s Piers Morgan can be linked to phone hacking during his days as a tabloid newspaper editor in the U.K. now says he’s got “smoking gun” proof to back up his charges. The blogger, Paul Staines, who writes under the name Guido Fawkes, has told ForbesJeff Bercovici that a recording exists “which contradicts (Morgan’s) recent claims” that he has never been involved in phone hacking in any way.

On his program Piers Morgan Tonight, Morgan opened a discussion of the News Corp phone hacking scandal with his own statement flatly denying he ever engaged in hacking. “For the record, in my time at The Mirror and the News of the World, I have never hacked a phone, told anybody to hack a phone or published any story based on the hacking of a phone.” It’s unclear why–if a recording that contradicts that claim exists–the blogger hasn’t published it, but Bercovici discussed the recording’s contents:

Via email, I told Staines what I had heard, that the recording captures Morgan admitting to paying a third party to hack. “You are on the right lines,” he replied. He has not yet posted the recording.

If it delivers as advertised, it will be the first major expansion of the hacking scandal outside the confines of News Corp.

CNN declined to comment on the blogger’s claims to Forbes or to Mediaite.

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