Rev. Al Sharpton was involved in spying on the mafia for a joint organized crime task force that was overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a report the Smoking Gun released Monday.
News of Sharpton's involvement with the FBI first surfaced in 1988, but hundreds of documents acquired by the publication reveal further details. Sharpton was known as informant "CI-7" and during the mid-1980s his informant work primarily targeted the Genoveses, the country's most infamous crime family.
The report stated he secretly recorded conversations using a microphone in his briefcase. Sharpton has denied being an informant and said he became involved after his life was threatened in a music industry-related dispute.
“I was never told I was an informant or I had a number or none of that,” he told The Daily News. “Whether or not they used some of the other information they got during that period for other purposes, I don’t know.”
The Smoking Gun reports:
In an interview Saturday, Sharpton again denied working as a confidential informant, claiming that his prior cooperation with FBI agents was limited to efforts to prompt investigations of drug dealing in minority communities, as well as the swindling of black artists in the recording industry. He also repeatedly denied being “flipped” by federal agents in the course of an undercover operation. When asked specifically about his recording of the Gambino crime family member, Sharpton was noncommittal: “I’m not saying yes, I’m not saying no.”
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