New York City Mayor Eric Adams repeated on Tuesday that he is “fully cooperating” with the FBI’s investigation into his campaign’s fundraising.
“This is an ongoing review. And as a former member of law enforcement, it’s always my belief - don’t interfere with an ongoing review,” Adams told reporters. “We are fully cooperating with whatever the reviewers are looking for.”
Adams spoke after it was revealed that FBI agents seized his cell phones and iPad as part of a federal investigation into campaign fundraising earlier this month. The seizure was a dramatic escalation of the federal probe into whether foreign money was funneled to his campaign. The investigation is being handled by the FBI and the US attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York. The New York City mayor has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
The seizure came days after the FBI raided the home of Adams’ chief fundraiser as part of the investigation to determine wether the mayor’s 2021 campaign conspired with a Brooklyn-based construction company to funnel foreign money into the campaign’s war chest.
Law enforcement officials who are familiar with the search warrants told CNN the investigators were seeking evidence that foreign nationals – who are barred from making campaign contributions – may have “bundled” donations by getting US citizens of Turkish origin to act as “straw contributors.” The alleged scheme would have allowed money coming from foreign business entities to be masqueraded as donations from American citizens.
In addressing the FBI investigation into his campaign, Adams told reporters that “we don’t do straw donors.”
“We don’t do the straw donors, we don’t do quid pro quo — we follow the law, I’m very clear on that,” Adams said. “I’ve state it from my days in the police department, to my days of state senator, to my days of borough president and as the mayor.”
Adams said that his campaign would continue fundraising for the upcoming election. “I have received nothing but support from my donor base,” he said.
Adams balked at a question about whether he would resign if he was indicted, saying he was continuing to do his job.
Adams’ counsel, Lisa Zornberg, repeatedly jumped in to answer questions from reporters, saying the administration is fully cooperating in the investigation.
“It’s important to remember here no one has been accused of wrongdoing, we have been fully cooperative. We are not going to impede an active investigation by providing more detail, and that’s our position,” Zornberg told reporters.
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