New York City – In an escalation of the investigation into New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ campaign finances, FBI agents seized phones and an iPad from the mayor earlier this week, according to a report published Friday.
The seizure marks a significant turn in the months-long probe into whether Adams’ 2021 mayoral campaign conspired with the Turkish government to funnel illegal foreign donations through intermediaries. Authorities are also examining if the campaign improperly took advantage of the city’s public campaign finance system.
Adams did not mention the seizure when speaking with reporters on Wednesday, stating he was unaware of any wrongdoing by members of his campaign team. But his attorney said in a statement Friday that “an individual had recently acted improperly” and the behavior was “immediately and proactively reported to investigators.”
The individual was not identified and details of the improper actions remain unclear. The FBI has reportedly returned some but not all of the seized devices.
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While Adams has insisted he has no personal knowledge of fundraising misconduct, prosecutors have already brought charges against six people accused of trying to manipulate the city’s matching funds program to direct tens of thousands of dollars to the Adams campaign.
The mayor has not been charged in relation to that case. He was elected in 2021 on a platform of combatting crime and has been in office since January 2022. The investigation into his campaign finances threatens to severely undermine the first-term mayor.
Representatives for the FBI and federal prosecutors declined to comment on the ongoing investigation. Adams is expected to face intense scrutiny in the coming days as new details emerge about the seizure and the campaign finance probe.