On Tape, Sharpton Cuts Deal for Campaign Cash

FBI video shows then-candidate agreeing to grease business wheels for donor
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2007 5:53 PM CST
The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks from the podium during a press conference at the Harlem headquarters of his civil rights organization in New York on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007. Sharpton denounced reports of...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Someone should have told Al Sharpton he was on candid camera. When the then-presidential candidate agreed to land a multimillion-dollar contract for fundraiser Ronald White in 2003, the FBI was filming the whole thing, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Now Sharpton is under investigation for possible tax fraud and campaign finance violations, but he insists that he’s done nothing illegal and that the tape vindicates him.

On the tape, White says he’ll raise $25,000 for Sharpton. "If you bring my guys up on this hedge fund ... I'll give you what you need." Sharpton replies, “Cool.” Sharpton says that because he's not a public official, it's OK for him to try to win contracts for political fundraisers. He says the investigation is government retaliation for his recent protests over the Jena 6 case in Louisiana.