U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman JayClayton says his agency is investigating claims that aVirginia-based advocacy group was behind suspicious comment letters submitted in support ofa rule change sought by large corporations.

"We're having an investigation done of this issue," Clayton saidTuesday in response to a question at a Senate Banking Committeehearing in Washington.

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Lawmakers sought answers from Clayton on what the SEC was doingto address revelations in a Nov. 19 Bloomberg News story that somepeople whose names appeared on comment letters in support ofchanges to shareholder-voting rules said they hadn't submittedthem. A Democratic watchdog group last week called on the agency toinvestigate the role played by the 60 Plus Association, a Virginiaadvocacy group.

"Very shortly after the Bloomberg article came out, we contactedour general counsel and office of inspector general," Clayton saidin response to a question from Senator Tina Smith, a MinnesotaDemocrat.

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