Much like the Jelly of the Month Club, the Rev. Al Sharpton is the gift that keeps on giving — provided, of course, you’re a conservative who gets a sort of perverse glee out of watching phony civil rights hustlers commit massive crimes yet somehow not go to prison.
The latest faux pas from the former MSNBC host and current laughingstock involves the improper destruction of documents during his 1997 New York mayoral run and 2003-04 presidential run. The destruction of these documents made it impossible for either campaign to comply with requirements on tax filings.
Sharpton destroying documents and not complying with tax regulations doesn’t sound too out of the ordinary. In fact, we’d probably save some time if we reported to you every instance where he didn’t destroy documents or actually managed to comply with tax regulations.
Less ordinary is Sharpton’s alleged method of destruction of these documents: arson.
In both cases, the documents were destroyed by fires deemed suspicious by the FDNY. What a coincidence!
According to National Review, the first fire happened on April 10, 1997. While the FDNY deemed the fire suspicious because of “a heavy volume of fire on arrival” and doors that were left unlocked after business hours, suspicion originally fell on a hair and nail salon below his headquarters.
The fire report mentions a flammable liquid being used to start the fire, but no arrests were ever made.
However, all of Sharpton’s campaign records during the mayoral campaign — electronic and paper — were allegedly destroyed in the blaze. Sharpton’s spokesman even said that “we have lost our entire Manhattan operation.”
Slight problem with that — according to sources, the office was barely damaged and mostly empty.
In any event, Sharpton managed to file a year late, claiming the fire had destroyed most of the pertinent records. Then, in 2003, another fire struck Sharpton’s presidential campaign headquarters.
This fire was ruled accidental, but according to people who worked the blaze, there were some “oddities” about the fire, which had initially been deemed suspicious.
James Kelty, a supervising fire marshal at that blaze, says that there was a secretive air about how the fire was fought and investigated.
“I was on the fire, and then I wasn’t on the fire,” Kelty said. “I was on the fire scene, and then I was no longer at the fire scene.”
Kelty also said that the investigation report, which was only six pages long and contained 38 photographs, was exceptionally small considering it involved a well-known figure.
“Big fires and fires involving prominent people are generally much more exhaustive,” Kelty said. “Thirty-eight photos are a drop in the bucket, especially given Sharpton’s notoriety and given the fact that he was running for U.S. president.”
Needless to say, Sharpton’s records were destroyed again (what a surprise!), which made it more difficult for election officials to trace some of the rather shady money coming into his campaign.
I refuse to believe Al Sharpton will ever go to jail until the day I see him go off in an orange jumpsuit. However, it does seem more and more that the lions are closing in.
Two fires at two campaign headquarters, on top of all we know about Sharpton’s love of tax compliance, should be enough to finally end this phony cleric’s career.
Of course, I say this now. Watch Obama award him the Medal of Honor while giving him a blanket pardon next week.
—Courtesy of The Conservative Tribune