The election campaign of Democratic Mayor Eric Adams of New York City is being investigated by the FBI over its alleged receipt of donations from the government of Turkey, according to a report by The New York Times on Thursday based on an FBI search warrant.
The FBI executed a search warrant on Thursday of the home of Brianna Suggs, a top fundraiser for Adams’ political operations and lobbyist for real estate interests in city government, over whether she solicited foreign donations from the government of Turkey, which is illegal under federal law. The scope of the investigation not only includes Suggs, but the campaign as a whole, according to The Times, which obtained a copy of the search warrant.
“Mayor Adams has not been contacted as part of this inquiry,” wrote Vito Pitta, an attorney for Adams’ campaign to The Times. “The campaign has always held itself to the highest standards,” he said, adding that “the campaign will of course comply with any inquiries, as appropriate.”
— New York Communities for Change (@nychange) November 2, 2023
The illicit donations appear to have been received by the campaign 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, according to the Times.
During the raid on Suggs’ home in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, the FBI sought financial records of the campaign, travel records to and from Turkey, records of interactions between the campaign and representatives of the government of Turkey and intermediaries as well as electronic devices used by Suggs, according to the Times.
Adams abruptly canceled a visit to Washington, D.C. to attend a meeting with 10 Democratic mayors at The White House Thursday.
The federal investigation is among a series of criminal legal proceedings involving Adams’ 2021 campaign.
Democratic District Attorney Alvin Bragg of New York County, which covers the Manhattan Borough of the city, has indicted seven individuals who fundraised for the campaign on multiple counts, including conspiracy and bribetaking and conspiracy to funnel illegal donations, according to the times.
Since Adams won the 2021 mayoral election, Suggs’ company has been paid more than $100,000 in consulting fees for her fundraising work, the Times reported.
Adams’ office and the FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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