Sharpton defends cooperating with FBI
Posted in the African-American Forum
#1 Apr 10, 2014
The Rev. Al Sharpton Tuesday defended cooperating with the FBI in the mid-1980s and said he never knowingly served as an informant in toppling New York mobsters.
I was never told I was an informant with a number, the civil rights leader and MSNBC host said in a news conference.In my own mind, I was not an informant. I was cooperating with investigations.
The civil rights leader pressed back against a lengthy investigation published on the website The Smoking Gun Monday, which claimed Sharpton helped bring down top mafia bosses through several secretly recorded conversations.
Citing secret court documents, FBI memos and interviews with law enforcement officials, the report claimed Sharpton started working with law enforcement agents in 1983, in efforts to take down the Genovese crime family.
The website charged that Sharpton operated under the codename CI-7, short for Confidential Informant No. 7. He secretly caught mobsters on tape through a briefcase fashioned with a recording device.
Sharpton Tuesday said he and his lawyers would review the authenticity of the documents obtained by The Smoking Gun.
The revelations come as Sharpton, host of MSNBCs PoliticsNation, launches a four-day convention for his civil rights group, the National Action Network. President Obama and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are both scheduled to give speeches at the annual confab this week.
Sharpton Tuesday resisted the latest round of reports characterizing how he began working with the feds in the first place. According to the websites report, FBI agents flipped Sharpton into becoming an informant after he was caught in a sting operation discussing cocaine deals.
POLITICSNATION WITH AL SHARPTON, 4/8/14, 7:53 PM ET
Sharpton on the mob and the anti-snitching campaign
For his part, Sharpton said he became involved with federal law enforcement officials after he received death threats over his work advocating a place for more African-Americans on the business side of the music industry. The industry at the time was heavily influenced by the mafia, Sharpton said.
Sharpton said he had feared for his life and sought protection from government officials and urged them to take on the organized crime bosses.
They were threatening to kill me, he said of the mob.
Stories of Sharptons cooperation with the FBI are nothing new. In fact during the press conference Tuesday, Sharpton read a passage from his 1996 book, Go and Tell Pharaoh, recounting the death threats from mobsters working in the music industry and his efforts to root out drug crime in the black community.
But if Sharpton had any direct role in convicting top mobsters, he said thats news to him.
I brought down the mob? The guys I talked to were never brought down, Sharpton said. He was unsure whether his recordings with Joseph Joe Bana Buonanno ultimately helped target key actors in organized crime as The Smoking Gun claimedcharacters like Benny Eggs,Chin,Fritzy,Corky, and Baldy Dom.
The website contended that eight separate U.S. District Court judges signed off on wiretaps that were based on sworn FBI affidavits aided by information Sharpton gathered. The secret phone recordingsmade possible by the court orderswere eventually used to help convict an assortment of Mafia members and associates, the Smoking Gun reported.
Sharpton said he had no choice but to deal with the crime bosses over 30 years ago, when he was working with famed musician James Brown.The mob ran the music business, he said.If you were going to deal in that business, you had to deal with them.
Im not a mobster, he said,Im a preacher.
Since: Jun 09
#2 Apr 10, 2014
Big Al is a "dead man walking" if he ever gets sent to Lewisburg , Terre Haute , or Florence federal prisons. There are a lot of ex-wiseguys doing time in those places and even though they're senior citizens now they can STILL have this stoolie put down in a heartbeat. If he ever gets locked up he's going to need eyes in the back of his head.
This clown has always been a fraud. His whole act has been "the man this , the man that" and talking about "my peoples". LMFAO. He was so against 'THE MAN" , and it turns out he was working for "THE MAN" .
Since: Oct 10
#3 Apr 10, 2014
Interesting. I first heard about Rev. rollin' over on the m0b on The Arsenio Hall Show just the other night.
Rev. lucky he ain't got concrete feet.
#4 Apr 10, 2014
The way you can tell if "Honest Al" knew whether or not he was an informant or not is whether he got paid or not. The "reverend" has never done anything that did not have financial gain as the primary objective.
#5 Apr 13, 2014
Not surprised at all
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