FBI seizes NYC Mayor Eric Adams' phones in campaign investigation

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Sunday, November 12, 2023
FBI seizes NYC Mayor Eric Adams' phones in campaign investigation
Josh EIniger has the latest developments.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The federal corruption investigation into Eric Adams' 2021 mayoral campaign has taken another turn as FBI agents seized his electronic devices this week.

Mayor Adams confirmed on Friday that the FBI took his phone at an event on Monday evening.

"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. I have nothing to hide," Mayor Eric Adams said on Friday.

Click here to read the latest update on this story.

Campaign attorney Boyd Johnson said Adams handed over the devices after learning "an individual had recently acted improperly."

"In the spirit of transparency and cooperation, this behavior was immediately and proactively reported to investigators," Johnson said, stressing that "the mayor has not been accused of any wrongdoing and continues to cooperate with the investigation."

Sources said investigators came to the mayor after the event on Monday to ask for all devices he had on his person, including an iPad and a phone

Later, the mayor's office turned over more devices. Most of the devices have been returned.

The seizure of the devices, first reported by The New York Times, came days after federal agents searched the Brooklyn home of Adams' top campaign fundraiser, 25-year-old Brianna Suggs. That search prompted the mayor to cancel a planned trip to meet with White House officials in Washington and instead return to New York.

Adams has said he will fully cooperate with investigators. The probe is exploring if his campaign received illegal donations. The focus of the investigation is whether a Williamsburg construction company and a group of Turkish nationals may have made improper donations to the mayor's 2021 election campaign.

"I am outraged and angry if anyone attempted to use the campaign to manipulate our democracy and defraud our campaign," Adams said in a statement last week. "I want to be clear, I have no knowledge, direct or otherwise, of any improper fundraising activity and certainly not of any foreign money. We will of course work with officials to respond to inquiries, as appropriate as we always have."

On November 2, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Suggs' Crown Heights home. She is a campaign consultant and top Democratic fundraiser.

She is described as someone with extremely close ties to the mayor's inner circle who has had a very rapid rise professionally.

Suggs was home at the time of the raid on her house.

She was not arrested but it is possible she could be called at some point to testify before a grand jury.

A straw donor arrangement was alleged in another case involving the mayor's campaign.

Back in July, four people were charged in a scheme to raise money through straw donations for Adams' campaign. The defendants then intended to pressure the mayor's office for construction jobs.

Adams wasn't charged and a campaign spokesman said then "we would never tolerate these actions."

The former city buildings commissioner under Adams, Eric Ulrich, was also charged in September with using his position to dole out favors, including access to the mayor, in exchange for cash and other bribes.

Adams has distanced himself from both cases, which were brought in state court and did not directly implicate his campaign or administration.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

WATCH | Political analyst breaks down FBI raid on top fundraiser for Mayor Adams

Hank Sheinkopf has more on the possible implications of an FBI raid on Mayor Adam's top fundraiser.


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