New York City Mayor Eric Adams ignored questions about the FBI probe into his campaign fundraising as he unveiled a helicopter helipad. The Democrat held a press conference on Monday at 6 East River Piers to make a transportation announcement, but a reporter took the opportunity to ask whether anyone else in his team had had their phones seized by the FBI.
Adams let out a laugh and replied: ‘We’re talking about helicopters here!’ It comes after news that the FBI seized the mayor’s electronic devices last week – after a raid on 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 the FBI stop leaks of the investigation after CBS reported the FBI was looking into a 2021 text sent to the mayor where the Turkey consul general asked about a new consul building on First Avenue across from the United Nations. Adams, who was then the Brooklyn borough president, did not reply to the message and instead forwarded it to then-commissioner Daniel Nigro. In a statement to CBS, Adams said: ‘As a borough president, part of my routine was to notify government agencies of issues on behalf of constituents and constituencies. I have not been accused of wrongdoing and I will continue to cooperate with investigators.
‘What I’m really hoping is that these periodic leaks stop. We’re cooperating. We need to do this together so all the facts can come out.’ Last week, FBI agents seized New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ cellphones and an iPad after stopping him in the middle of the street following a raid on his fundraising chief 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 Monday night 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.
Last week, 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 to 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. Boyd Johnson, the lawyer for Adams and his campaign, said the mayor ‘immediately complied with the F.B.I.’s request and provided them with electronic devices’ on Monday after an event.
The lawyer added: ‘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.’ Johnson did not identify the person or specify the mentioned inappropriate conduct. 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 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.’
Want more stories like this from the Daily Mail? Visit our profile page here and hit the follow button above for more of the news you need.