- FBI seized Eric Adams’ electronic devices earlier this week
- Agents approached the Democrat , a former cop, on the street
- The home of Adams’ chief fundraiser Brianna Suggs was raided as part of an investigation into an alleged kickback scheme tied to the Turkish government
Last week, Adams rushed back home from DC after the raid on longtime confidante and top fundraiser Brianna Suggs, 25, as part of an investigation into an alleged kickback scheme tied to the Turkish government and others.
After news of his devices being seized broke, Adams told CNN ‘he has nothing to hide.’
‘As a former member of law enforcement, I expect all members of my staff to follow the law and fully cooperate with any sort of investigation — and I will continue to do exactly that,’ he added.
The New York Times reports that FBI officials approached the Democrat on the street and asked for this security team to step away. The agents then climbed into Adams’ SUV and took his devices – at least two cellphones and an iPad.
The devices were returned to Adams within a couple of days. The FBI can make copies of the data of seized devices if they have a search warrant.
Adams, 63, revealed this week that he has retained a personal lawyer.
Still, during his first press conference since the raid, Adams said he ‘sleeps well at night’ as he stood by Suggs and denied any wrongdoing,.
The mayor said his campaign followed the rules and will continue do so during the investigation into his fundraising.
It’s not clear whether the agents referred to the investigation as they took his electronic devices.
On Wednesday, Adams said he would be ‘shocked and hurt’ if officials found his campaign had done anything illegal.
Adams then laughed off a question about whether he could personally face federal charges, while noting that he had hired a lawyer from the law firm Wilmer Hale to represent him.
The mayor also told reporters he decided to give Suggs an opportunity working in politics that ‘African Americans don’t get.’
‘African Americans often don’t get to play on a national scale, as fundraisers as media, speech writers… I had a young brilliant young lady who was an intern, hardworking, willing to work as many hours as possible,’ he said.
‘We saw an opportunity to open the path for her that I saw others get… she worked hard, she learned, and people who met her were really blown away, and I’m proud of her and she’s going to get through this.’
Neither Adams nor anyone in his campaign have been charged with any crimes.
‘We followed the rules because we know our campaign would be scrutinized,’ he told reporters.
With Suggs’ help, Adams has raised more than $2.5million for his re-election campaign.
Adams had been scheduled to lead a delegation in DC of mayors from the nation’s five largest cities struggling with an influx of migrants when he decided to head back to NYC.
Reporters on Wednesday scrutinized this decision, questioning if his choice showed he put his campaign issues ahead of the city’s current migrant crisis.
But Adams defended his decision to come back to NYC and miss the meetings with DC officials to ask for federal aid, saying he wanted to be present for his City Hall and campaign teams.
Suggs has worked for Adams since 2017, when she joined his staff in the Brooklyn Borough president’s office as a teenager, reporting directly to her godmother, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, a longtime Adams ally who now serves as the mayor’s chief advisor.
When Adams, a Democrat, ran for mayor in 2021, Suggs served as a chief fundraiser and director of logistics, helping to organize events and solicit money from donors. Records show she has been paid more than $150,000 for her work on his previous campaign and his current reelection bid.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have declined to say what the investigation is about, but a search warrant obtained by the New York Times indicated that investigators are examining whether the Adams campaign conspired with the Turkish government to receive donations from foreign sources, funneled through straw donors.
Authorities are investigating whether the campaign conspired with a Brooklyn construction company and the Turkish government to funnel foreign money into the campaign’s coffers, apparently through a straw donor scheme.
A spokesperson for the Adams campaign pledged last week to review ‘all documents and actions by campaign workers connected to the contributors in question.’ Adams did not say on Wednesday whether they had found any irregularities, but insisted the campaign ‘closely followed the rules.’
‘I start the day with telling my team, “We got to follow the law,”‘ he said.
‘It’s almost to the point that I’m annoying. I just strongly believe you have to follow the law.’