NYC Mayor Eric Adams responds to allegations he received donations from Turkish nationals
The FBI also raided the home of his campaign staffer Brianna Suggs, who claimed to raise $18.4 million during the 2021 primary and general campaign
New York City Mayor Eric Adams answered questions regarding an ongoing federal investigation into his 2021 mayoral campaign at a news conference on Tuesday.
He told reporters, “We don’t do quid pro quo. We follow the law. I’m very clear on that.”
The New York Times obtained a search warrant indicating there is a federal investigation into whether the Adams campaign in 2021 received illegal donations from Turkish nationals and conspired with the Turkish government.
In Brooklyn, the FBI and federal prosecutors are investigating KSK Construction. The company is owned by Turkish immigrants, and it gave donations to the mayor’s campaign and held a fundraising event for him in 2021, according to Time.
The FBI raided Brianna Suggs’ home in Crown Heights on Nov. 2, according to the search warrant. During his 2021 campaign, Adams hired then 21-year-old Suggs to lead fundraising. She claimed to have raised $18.4 million during the primary and general campaign, per Politico.
FBI took Adams’ 2 phones and an iPad
FBI officers exited Suggs’ home with “two laptop computers, three iPhones and a manila folder labeled ‘Eric Adams,’” the Times reported.
The FBI also took two cellphones and an iPad from Adams. A federal judge allowed the FBI to confiscate the technology and create copies of their content, CNN reported.
“Last Friday it was revealed that the FBI had seized your devices,” a reporter said during the Tuesday news conference. “Your campaign released a statement saying an individual had acted improperly and that was reported to the FBI. Could you tell us who that individual is?”
What is a straw donor?
“I tell my team all the time, follow the law,” Adams responded. “And matter of fact I tell the team to the point that I’m almost annoying. We don’t do the straw donors.”
Straw donors use someone else’s money to make political donations in their own names, in order to evade campaign finance limits. This violates the Federal Election Campaign Act, and is used to conceal where donations are actually coming from.
A lawyer for the mayor’s campaign organization, Boyd Johnson, said, “After learning of the federal investigation, it was discovered that an individual had recently acted improperly. In the spirit of transparency and cooperation, this behavior was immediately and proactively reported to investigators,” PBS reported his statement.
Adams and Suggs have so far not been accused of wrongdoing. Adams has maintained he had no knowledge of improper fundraising.
He said, “I spent my life enforcing the law and I’m going to continue to tell the team that we follow the law in this administration and in all my administrations.”