New York City Mayor Eric Adams at a press conference on March 16, 2022.
of FBI investigation The investigation into Mayor Eric Adams focuses on campaign finance, favors and possible foreign influence, according to officials briefed on the investigation.
Adams has a long and proud relationship with New York City’s Turkish American community and has traveled to Turkey about six times. The FBI is also investigating these trips, and one of the locations searched on November 2 was the residence of a Turkish Airlines executive.
The FBI also investigated contacts with Turkish government officials in New York and Turkey, the officials said, and found that foreign governments were involved with businessmen and others trying to curry favor with Mr. Adams to advance Turkey’s business interests in New York. An investigation is currently underway to determine whether he used the networks of Turkish expatriates. Or even form long-term alliances with American politicians who harbor further political ambitions, including the White House.
Among the allegations under investigation is a Brooklyn-based construction company owned by a Turkish-American businessman who, according to sources, rallied its employees to write checks to the Adams campaign. He is said to have circumvented campaign finance laws and repaid his donors in full.
The FBI is returning records of checks and wire transfers equal to the KSK contributions to employees, people familiar with the findings told CNN. Although the total amount donated exceeded the amount the company could legally donate, it also triggered matching funds issued by the city. On its website, KSK boasts that it has built more than 50 buildings in New York City, ranging from townhouse renovations to apartment complexes to full-scale skyscrapers. These are the kinds of large-scale projects that require a tremendous amount of permitting and communication from multiple city agencies.
KSK had no comment when contacted by CNN on Monday.
On Nov. 2, the FBI assembled about 100 agents to execute search warrants and conduct interviews at more than a dozen locations at 6 a.m. One of the locations was the home of Brianna Suggs, 25, the director of Adams’ campaign fundraising efforts. Mobile phones and iPads were taken, as well as envelopes filled with records.
Investigators also interviewed Suggs, who has not returned messages left by CNN, people briefed on the raid told CNN.
When Adams learned of the raid that morning, he abruptly canceled a White House meeting to discuss the immigration crisis and returned to New York. The following Monday, city officials confirmed that FBI agents approached the mayor as he was returning from an event at New York University and asked to speak without security personnel present.
They met with Adams inside the mayor’s city-owned suburb, where they questioned the mayor. Flip two phones And an iPad. The phones were the subject of search warrants approved by a federal judge, which allowed the FBI to make copies of the contents on the devices to review for evidence. Obtaining a search warrant to examine the phone of the mayor of America’s largest city requires FBI agents to convince a federal judge that there is probable cause to believe the phone contains evidence of illegal activity. An affidavit containing sufficient evidence must be submitted. Activities.
A source close to the mayor told CNN the next day that Adams voluntarily handed over two additional devices as part of the mayor’s continued cooperation with investigators.
“The Mayor and our team continues to cooperate with investigators And please cooperate,” said Lisa Zornberg, chief advisor to the mayor. “We hope that law enforcement agencies will continue to cooperate with us and reprimand the federal officials who improperly leaked details of this investigation. Such conduct prejudices the public and undermines the integrity of our nation’s law enforcement processes. “Because it’s possible,” she added.
The mayor has not been accused of wrongdoing.
According to the New York Times, the FBI and city officials familiar with the investigation say Adams used his influence as Brooklyn borough president in 2021 to get the New York City Fire Department to waive safety requirements and temporarily They say they are investigating whether they asked for a certificate to be issued. A portion of the occupancy rights will be issued to the newly established Turkish Mission to the United Nations.
City officials acknowledged that the Turkish government was concerned that it would not be in time to cut the ribbon to open the building during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to the United Nations. A person briefed on the investigation said Adams received a text message from Turkey’s consul general requesting assistance with a temporary permit, even though security requirements had not yet been met. Officials said Adams forwarded the consular text to then-Fire Chief Dan Nigro with the message, “Look at this.”
On September 10, 2021, the Fire Department sent the following letter to fire protection contractors responsible for alarms, smoke detectors, and sprinklers: buildings have inspected, tested and approved the installed water-based fire suppression systems. ”
Officials said that not all technical safety requirements could be met in time, but as a stopgap measure, the Turkish mission was able to hire security personnel as fire watchdogs until safety equipment was brought up to standard. Stated.
In a statement released Sunday, Adams said, “Part of my day-to-day role as borough president was to notify government agencies of issues on behalf of my constituents and my district. We have not been accused of wrongdoing and will continue to cooperate with the investigation.”
A person familiar with aspects of the investigation involving the fire department told CNN that Nigro received a grand jury subpoena and voluntarily met with FBI officials for questioning.
John Miller was a deputy commissioner in the New York City Police Department and served under Mayor Eric Adams. He retired from the department in July 2022.