The Federal Bureau of Investigation has seized mobile phones used by Democratic Mayor Eric Adams of New York City as part of a federal corruption investigation of his campaign, concerning whether it accepted illicit donations from the Government of Turkey, according to a report by The New York Times on Friday.
On Nov. 2, the FBI executed a search warrant on the home of Susanna Briggs, a 25-year-old former intern and fundraiser for Adams’ 2021 mayoral campaign, to seize records and communications devices to determine whether the campaign had solicited or knowingly accepted donations from Turkey through various U.S. entities. Adams’ personal electronic devices, including an Apple iPad and two mobile phones, were reportedly seized by the FBI shortly afterward as part of the investigation, according to the Times’ report.
FBI agents reportedly approached the mayor while he was in public and presented a court-ordered warrant for his devices, which they returned a few days later after making copies of their data, according to the report.
— Curtis Sliwa (@CurtisSliwa) November 3, 2023
During its Nov. 2 raid, the FBI had also seized two personal computers, three Apple iPhones and a folder with the label “Eric Adams” from Briggs’ home, according to the report. It is unclear whether those devices have been returned, though Briggs has received a subpoena to testify before a grand jury convened to investigate the campaign.
The campaign donations at the center of the investigation appear to have been received from two domestic sources — a construction company in Brooklyn known as KSK Construction Group, whose employees donated $14,000 to his 2021 campaign, and Bay Atlantic University, a Turkish-owned institution in Washington, D.C., which has been affiliated with Adams since his time as the Borough President of Brooklyn. Adams had previously traveled to Turkey on a matter related to the university.
The federal investigation into the Adams campaign is one of several criminal proceedings related to his 2021 candidacy. Democratic District Attorney Alvin Bragg of New York County, which covers the Manhattan Borough of the city, has previously indicted seven individuals who fundraised for the campaign on multiple counts, including conspiracy and bribetaking and conspiracy to funnel illegal donations.
Another New York metropolitan area politician, Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, was indicted by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York on Sept. 22 for allegedly acting as a foreign agent of the Government of Egypt.
Adams’ office and the FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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