Friday, November 10, 2023

FBI Seized NYC Mayor Eric Adams's Phones, iPad

FBI Seized NYC Mayor Eric Adams's Phones, iPad

New York Mayor Eric Adams speaks during a Veteran's Day breakfast celebration at Gracie Mansion in New York City on Nov. 9, 2023. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) 

An attorney for New York City Mayor Eric Adams confirmed on Friday that the FBI seized the mayor's phones and an iPad as part of an investigation into his campaign financing.

“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. The Mayor has been and remains committed to cooperating in this matter," his attorney Boyd Johnson said in a statement.

"On Monday night, the FBI approached the mayor after an event. The Mayor immediately complied with the FBI’s request and provided them with electronic devices. The mayor has not been accused of any wrongdoing and continues to cooperate with the investigation."

Mr. Adams also denied any wrongdoing in a statement.

“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,” he stated.

Last week, the FBI raided the home of Brianna Suggs, one of the mayor's chief political consultants, after which the mayor also issued a statement that he was innocent of any wrongdoing.

“I feel extremely comfortable about how I comply with rules and procedures. I’ve stated this over and over again. I hold myself to a high standard, I hold my campaign to a high standard, and I hold my staffers at city hall to a high standard,” he said. He also said that Ms. Suggs was a "real professional" and would remain on his team for his 2025 reelection campaign.

“I am outraged and angry if anyone attempted to use the campaign to manipulate our democracy and defraud our campaign,” Mr. Adams said in the statement. “I want to be clear, I have no knowledge, direct or otherwise, of any improper fundraising activity—and certainly not of any foreign money.”

A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney in Manhattan declined to comment.


The FBI has not made public details of the investigation, but a search warrant was first reported by the New York Times, which reported that the federal investigation is related to alleged corruption in Mr. Adams's 2021 campaign and possible ties to the Turkish government.

The seized devices, which the FBI has likely made copies of, were returned days later.

The mayor's staff has confirmed that his office has met with the federal prosecutors, but did not disclose what they discussed.

After the raid on Ms. Suggs's home, media reported that the relationship between the mayor's 2021 campaign and Brooklyn-based KSK Construction Group's ties to Turkey is the center of the probe.

The KSK Construction Group owns apartment buildings and condominiums throughout the city. It is owned by the KiSKA Construction Corp., a company that possesses two branches of a Turkish hotel chain in the United States.


Mr. Adams has visited Turkey multiple times, including as part of official duties in different public offices.

“I’m probably the only mayor in the history of this city that has not only visited Turkey once, but I think I’m on my sixth or seventh visit to Turkey,” Mr. Adams said at a Turkish flag-raising ceremony in New York recently. Two of those trips were made while he was the Brooklyn Borough President.

Campaign records show that he received donations from three members of a foundation opened by the son of the Turkish president.

At an event this week, the mayor answered reporters' questions about the probe and his ties to Turkey.

“We just thought it was a great opportunity to exchange ideas as we do with all these…countries and we want to attract businesses here,” he said of the trips, according to The City. “So Turkey as well as any other country, I want to attract people to the city. There’s nothing specific about that one particular country.”

He added that he frequently told his staff to "follow the law."

“I just strongly believe you have to follow the law. It would really shock me if someone that was hired by my campaign did something that was inappropriate,” he said.

Benjamin Kew and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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