New York Mayor Eric Adams sidestepped questions about the FBI investigation into his campaign fundraising as he unveiled a helipad.
The Democrat held a press conference at East River Piers 6 on Monday to make a transportation announcement, but a reporter took the opportunity to ask if anyone else on his team had their phones seized by the FBI.
Adams laughed and replied, “We’re talking about helicopters here!”
It comes after news that the FBI seized the mayor’s electronic devices last week – after raiding the home of his top fundraiser and longtime confidante Brianna Suggs, 25, as part of an investigation into an alleged kickback scheme.
On Sunday, Adams demanded that the FBI stop leaks from the investigation after CBS reported that the FBI was investigating a 2021 text sent to the mayor in which Turkey’s consul general asked about a new consul building on First Avenue, towards the United Nations.
New York Mayor Eric Adams ignored questions about the GBI investigation into his campaign fundraising as he unveiled a helipad.
The Brooklyn home of Adam’s top fundraiser and longtime confidante Brianna Suggs, 25, was raided by the FBI as part of an investigation into an alleged kickback scheme
Adams, then Brooklyn Borough President, did not respond to the message and instead forwarded it to then-Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
In a statement to CBS, Adams said, “As city president, it was part of my routine to notify government agencies of issues on behalf of voters and constituencies. I have not been accused of wrongdoing and I will continue to cooperate with investigators.
‘What I really hope is that these periodic leaks stop. We cooperate. We have to do this together so that all the facts come out.”
Last week, FBI agents seized New York Mayor Eric Adams’ cellphones and an iPad after arresting him in the middle of the street following a raid on his fundraising head Brianna Suggs, 25, as part of an investigation into an alleged kickback scheme linked to the Turkish government and others.
After news of the seizure of his devices broke, Adams told CNN “he has nothing to hide.”
“As a former member of law enforcement, I expect all of my employees to follow the law and cooperate fully with any type of investigation – and I will continue to do so,” he added.
The New York Times reports that FBI officials approached the Democrat on the street Monday evening and asked that this security team step away. The officers then climbed into Adams’ SUV and took his devices: at least two cellphones and an iPad.
The devices were returned to Adams within a few days. The FBI can make copies of data from seized devices if they have a search warrant.
Last week, Adams said he sleeps well at night” while standing by Suggs and denying any wrongdoing.
Officers are shown outside Suggs’ home in Crown Heights after the Nov. 2 raid
The mayor said his campaign was following the rules and will continue to do so during the investigation into his fundraising.
It is not clear whether the officers were referring to the investigation when they took his electronic devices.
Boyd Johnson, the attorney for Adams and his campaign, said the mayor “immediately complied with the FBI’s request and provided them with electronic devices” after an event on Monday.
The attorney added, “After learning of the federal investigation, it was discovered that an individual had recently acted inappropriately… In the spirit of transparency and cooperation, this conduct was immediately and proactively reported to investigators.”
Johnson did not identify the person or specify the inappropriate behavior cited.
On Wednesday, Adams said he would be “shocked and hurt” if officials discovered his campaign had done anything illegal.
Adams then laughed off the question of whether he personally could face federal charges, noting that he had hired an attorney from the Wilmer Hale law firm to represent him.
The mayor also told reporters that he decided to give Suggs an opportunity to work in politics that “African Americans don’t get.”
“African Americans are often not allowed to play on a national scale, as fundraisers, media, speechwriters… I had a young, brilliant young lady who was an intern, hardworking, willing to work as many hours as she could,” he said. said.
“We saw an opportunity to open up the path for her that I saw others get… she worked hard, she learned, and the people who met her were truly blown away, and I’m proud of her and she will get through this. .’
Neither Adams nor anyone in his campaign has been charged with any crimes.
“We followed the rules because we knew our campaign would be scrutinized,” he told reporters.
With Suggs’ help, Adams has raised more than $2.5 million for his re-election campaign.