Federal authorities have subpoenaed financial records and employees in an apparent probe of the Rev. Al Sharpton's 2004 presidential bid, nonprofit civil rights group, and for-profit businesses, a newspaper reported Thursday.
As many as 10 Sharpton associates were subpoenaed Wednesday to testify before a federal grand jury in Brooklyn Dec. 26, his lawyer told the Daily News.
Sharpton spokesman Charlie King said the minister and the National Action Network were cooperating with the probe. Hardy was sanguine about the developments."I can't think of a time when the Rev. Sharpton wasn't under investigation," he said.
Sharpton agreed in 2005 to repay the government $100,000, plus interest, for taxpayer money he received during his failed effort to win the Democratic presidential nomination the year before, though he denied wrongdoing. The Federal Election Commission had determined that he spent more of his own money on the campaign than the qualifications for federal matching funds allow.
In 1993, Sharpton pleaded guilty to not filing a state income tax return in 1986.
In 2004 the media and voters pigeonholed Sharpton as a black candidate and his campaign as a racial campaign. Sharpton was and is so controversial that the mere mention of his candidacy causes many mainstream Democrats to simply chuckle or roll their eyes. He did not have anything to say or have anything to bring to the table. He just wanted the publicity. In terms of experience, leading marches and protest actions to shake down businesses for donations did not form a sound basis for managing the government. In my opinion his 2004 bid was a self-promotion tour partially paid for by taxpayer money.