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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse requests information about Alito's ‘improper’ WSJ interview

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Judiciary Committee, requested information from Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito tied to an interview with The Wall Street Journal last year in which Alito questioned whether Congress has the power to impose ethics rules on the Supreme Court.

In the letter made public Friday, Whitehouse, D-R.I., accused Alito of offering in an interview with the paper last year "an improper opinion regarding a question that might come before the Court" amid an ethical dilemma related to donors' funding of undisclosed gifts to Supreme Court justices.

According to the Journal interview,published July 28, Alito had asserted that Congress lacked authority to regulate the high court.

“No provision in the Constitution gives them the authority to regulate the Supreme Court—period," Alito told the newspaper at the time.

Alito's interview appeared weeks after the Journal published his commentaryrebutting a ProPublica report detailing his failure to disclose a fishing trip in Alaska with a Republican billionaire.

The interview, Whitehouse noted, was conducted by David B. Rivkin, an attorney representing Leonard Leo, who, according to ProPublica's report, coordinated Alito's 2008 trip with GOP donor Robin Arkley II.

Whitehouse argued that Alito’s assertions in the interview were made “to the benefit of yourself, as a recipient of undisclosed gifts that are the subject of our investigation.”

He further accused Alito of taking part in the interview "at the behest" of Rivkin, who was challenging the committee’s investigative efforts.

“From the outside, it looks like the attorney recruited you to prop up his legal case against our investigation, using the interview to advance the argument he and several

Read more on nbcnews.com