Was former Mayor Rudy Giuliani involved in helping wire Rev. Al Sharpton?
Mr. Giuliani, who served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York before stepping down in 1989 to run for mayor, today repeatedly refused to answer questions about Monday’s explosive report from The Smoking Gun detailing Mr. Sharpton’s alleged involvement in federal investigations of the mob during the 1980s.
“I’m constrained here by the fact that I was a United States attorney at the time,” Mr. Giuliani said during a radio interview on Geraldo Rivera’s WABC radio show.
“Wait a minute, does that mean that you were the one that wired him?” guest host Noam Laden inquired.
“My answer is: I was United States attorney at the time. I’ve checked with the Justice Department as to what I can say,” Mr. Giulani replied. “My instructions are: I refer all inquiries to the United States Department of Justice, who know what to say and what not to say about this.”
Pressed, however, Mr. Giuliani suggested that he was very much the type of U.S. attorney who would have been involved with Mr. Sharpton’s case. “All I can tell you is that I was United States attorney during the time. I can’t say that all of this occurred [under my watch] but at least most of it occurred. It happened in my district. I was enormously active, as people know, in investigating organized crime,” he said, listing several of his high-profile mob investigations.
“Were you the one that wired him?” Mr. Laden tried again.
“Again I have to refer all that to the Justice Department,” Mr. Giuliani maintained.
“I’ll just get that you weren’t surprised when you saw him on the front page of the paper,” Mr. Laden said, giving up on the topic.
“That would be a fair inference, yes,” Mr. Giuliani answered with a laugh.
Mr. Sharpton has repeatedly argued that the Smoking Gun story is old news–Newsday first reported his cooperation with federal prosecutors in 1988–and that cooperating with authorities should be considered a good thing.
While he was in office, Mr. Giuliani had a deeply adversarial relationship with Mr. Sharpton.