Al Sharpton Downplays Claims He Was An FBI Informant

Source: John Bacon / USA Today

The Rev. Al Sharpton is denying claims made byThe Smoking Gun website that he worked as an FBI mob informant in the 1980s.

The website, in a voluminous story published Monday, said eight federal judges signed wiretap directives based at least in part on information provided by the civil rights leader and MSNBC talk show host. One Genovese crime family member admitted speaking openly to Sharpton about extortion, death threats and other crimes while Sharpton’s FBI-provided briefcase secretly recorded the conversation, the story says.

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The website says its account of Sharpton’s secret life as “CI-7” — confidential informant number 7 — was based on hundreds of pages of confidential FBI affidavits, documents released by the bureau in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, court records, and extensive interviews with six members of an FBI/NYPD “Genovese squad” and other law enforcement officials.

Sharpton, challenged by the website, denied being “flipped” by federal agents during an undercover operation — although Smoking Gun claims that when asked about recording of a Gambino crime family member, Sharpton was non-committal: “I’m not saying yes, I’m not saying no.”

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