According to allegations on Friday, the FBI escalated a corruption probe into New York City mayor Eric Adams’ successful 2021 campaign and seized electronic devices, including at least two mobile phones.
On Monday night, the seizure occurred. The mayor was approached by the FBI on the street, who then requested that his security move aside and took two iPhones and an iPad. After a few days, they were given back.
On Friday, Mayor Adams said that on Monday night, during an event, the FBI had taken his phone.
“As a former law enforcement officer, I demand that every employee adhere to the law and provide their complete cooperation during any type of investigation, and I will keep doing just that. Mayor Eric Adams declared on Friday, “I have nothing to hide.”
It comes after an FBI raid on Adams’s primary campaign fundraiser, Brianna Suggs’s residence earlier this month, during which investigators allegedly seized three cellphones and two laptop systems.
Prior reports claimed that Adams and his campaign staff had frequently turned down requests from authorities to reveal the source of roughly $300,000 in donations; however, it was unclear if this investigation included any allegations of breaking campaign finance laws.
Boyd Johnson, the campaign lawyer, claimed that Adams turned over the devices after finding out that “someone had recently acted improperly.”
“In the spirit of transparency and cooperation, this behaviour was immediately and proactively reported to investigators,” Johnson stated. He added that “the mayor has not been accused of any wrongdoing and continues to cooperate with the investigation.”
Adams released a statement last week saying, “I am outraged and angry if anyone attempted to use the campaign to manipulate our democracy and defraud our campaign.” To be clear, I am not aware of any unethical fundraising activities and definitely am not aware of any foreign money. Of course, as we have always done, we will cooperate with authorities to address questions.
Agents approached Adams in the street, according to others who spoke with the newspaper, and asked his security detail to move aside while they got into his car and took the devices with the use of a warrant that was granted by the court.
It was noted in the publication that the FBI was able to duplicate the data on the devices thanks to a warrant, and that all of the equipment was returned to him “within a matter of days.”
Adams’s 2021 campaign may have “conspired with the Turkish government and others to funnel money into its coffers,” according to an FBI probe.
The warrant stated that it was looking for information regarding donations made by Bay Atlantic University, a Turkish-founded college in Washington, DC, which is connected to a school that Adams is rumored to have visited during his 2015 trip to Turkey as the president of the Brooklyn Borough Council.
According to the local news, the cash donations that were earlier said to be in doubt came from roughly 500 distinct donors.
Adams arrived to New York from Washington, DC, where he had scheduled talks with legislative and White House leaders to discuss immigration, right after the raid on Suggs’ home.
He claimed that he did it out of kindness for Suggs, a 25-year-old former intern who had been elevated to the position of head fundraiser.
“Even as mayor, I still consider myself to be a man and a human,” he stated.