Sports

George Steinbrenner: FBI Informant?

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

The late George Steinbrenner was called many, many things, but FBI informant? Never. Yet a published report said Steinbrenner was indeed a secret informant, even helping crack a "terrorist" case.

The New York Daily News reports that Steinbrenner's FBI file, which was released on Monday, shows he helped the agency from 1978-1983.

It appears Steinbrenner agreed to become a snitch following his 1974 guilty plea to making illegal contributions to President Nixon's re-election campaign and to a felony charge of obstruction of justice.

Steinbrenner was apparently effective because the files include a 1988 memo in which FBI officials said he "has provided the FBI with valuable assistance." Details were redacted, but it said Steinbrenner helped in an undercover operation of "a sensitive security matter" that led to a conviction.

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Also in the file is a 1987 letter to the FBI in which Steinbrenner's lawyers claim that the Yankees owner "knows that he placed the lives of his family and himself in jeopardy through being involved in a terrorist matter."

President Reagan pardoned Steinbrenner in 1989. "The Boss," as he was affectionately known, died in July 2010 at age 80.