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April 08, 2014

Snitches Get MSNBC Shows? TheSmokingGun.com Claims Al Sharpton Was an FBI Confidential Informant, Snitching on the Mafia For Decades

Big article that I'm still reading, actually.

APRIL 7--When friends and family members gathered recently at the White House for a private celebration of Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday, one of the invited partygoers was a former paid FBI Mafia informant.

That same man attended February’s state dinner in honor of French President Francois Hollande. He was seated with his girlfriend at a table adjacent to President Barack Obama, who is likely unaware that, according to federal agents, his guest once interacted with members of four of New York City’s five organized crime families. He even secretly taped some of those wiseguys using a briefcase that FBI technicians outfitted with a recording device.


The former mob snitch has become a regular in the White House, where he has met with the 44th president in the East Room, the Roosevelt Room, and the Oval Office. He has also attended Obama Christmas parties, speeches, policy announcements, and even watched a Super Bowl with the First Family (an evening the man has called “one of the highlights of my life”). During these gatherings, he has mingled with cabinet members, top Obama aides, military leaders, business executives, and members of Congress. His former confederates were a decidedly dicier lot: ex-convicts, extortionists, heroin traffickers, and mob henchmen. The man’s surreptitious recordings, FBI records show, aided his government handlers in the successful targeting of powerful Mafia figures with nicknames like Benny Eggs, Chin, Fritzy, Corky, and Baldy Dom.


Most importantly, he has the ear of the President of the United States, an equally remarkable and perplexing achievement for the former FBI asset known as “CI-7,” the Rev. Al Sharpton.

The article goes on to detail (what it claims is) Sharpton's history as a "Mafia associate," Confidential Informant 7, whose background information was used in many warrant applications for eavesdropping on mafiosi. Sharpton's testimony was never directly used at trial to convict anyone, only for information purposes, and for purposes of securing warrants (with which the FBI would gather evidence they could produce at trial).

Sharpton "vehemently" denies having ever been an FBI informant, and claims that his only intersections with the FBI occurred when he was seeking their help to clean drugs out of minority neighborhoods, or their help in protecting the rights of black recording artists.

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.”

But the article claims he was "flipped" by the FBI to become an informant only when he himself was caught in an FBI sting regarding drug dealing:

During one meeting with Sharpton, the undercover agent offered to get him "pure coke" at $35,000 a kilo. As the phony drug kingpin spoke, Sharpton nodded his head and said, “I hear you.” When the undercover promised Sharpton a 10 percent finder’s fee if he could arrange the purchase of several kilos, the reverend referred to an unnamed buyer and said, “If he’s gonna do it, he’ll do it much more than that.” The FBI agent steered the conversation toward the possible procurement of cocaine, sources said, since investigators believed that Sharpton acquaintance Daniel Pagano--who was not present--was looking to consummate drug deals....

While Sharpton did not explicitly offer to arrange a drug deal, some investigators thought his interaction with the undercover agent could be construed as a violation of federal conspiracy laws. Though an actual prosecution, an ex-FBI agent acknowledged, would have been “a reach,” agents decided to approach Sharpton and attempt to “flip” the activist...

Despite the weakness of the FBI's case against him, TheSmokingGun.com reports that they succeeded in "flipping" him to turn informant on the mob.

It's an interesting read, to say the least. Obviously I have no insight into whether TheSmokingGun is right or not.

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posted by Ace at 05:06 PM

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