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FBI Agents Seized New York Mayor’s Cell Phones – Lawyer

The seizure appears to be part of a corruption investigation into whether Eric Adams' 2021 campaign conspired with Turkey's government and others.


 

FBI agents seized the New York mayor’s cell phones and other devices, his campaign lawyer said Friday, in an apparent escalation of a federal investigation into campaign fundraising.

The seizure appears to be part of a corruption investigation into whether Eric Adams’ 2021 campaign conspired with Turkey’s government and others.

“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,” said Boyd Johnson, the campaign’s attorney, in a statement to AFP.

“The mayor has not been accused of any wrongdoing and continues to cooperate with the investigation,” the attorney added.

The federal probe into Adams’ campaign went public last week when FBI agents searched the home of his former top fundraiser — a 25-year-old one-time intern, Brianna Suggs — seizing laptops, cell phones and a manila folder labeled “Eric Adams.”

News of the raid prompted the mayor to reverse course and abruptly return to New York from Washington, where he was to have met with officials at the White House and Congress over an influx of migrants into his city.

In a statement on Friday, Adams, a former police officer, said that “I expect all members of my staff to follow the law and fully cooperate with any sort of investigation.”

“I will continue to do exactly that,” the mayor said. “I have nothing to hide.”

‘Committed to Cooperating’ 

The FBI’s warrant to search Suggs’ home sought evidence of conspiracy between the mayor’s campaign, the Turkish government and a Brooklyn-based developer whose owners are Turkish, according to The New York Times.

The warrant reportedly indicated that authorities were probing whether donations from either Turkey’s government or Turkish nationals were made to Adams via a scheme under which false contributors would be listed.

It was not immediately clear if the seizure of Adams’ devices was directly connected to the FBI raid of Suggs’ home.

In his statement on Friday, attorney Johnson said that “after learning of the federal investigation, it was discovered that an individual had recently acted improperly,” without specifying details of the probe he was referring to.

“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.”

The seizure of Adams’ devices comes as much of New York’s political sphere is in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the annual beachside Somos conference that draws both elected officials and lobbyists and serves as an unofficial dealmaking getaway.

Adams opted to skip the conference, earlier this week citing his need to focus on the city’s fiscal woes.

AFP