FBI agents seized the electronic devices of New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) amid an ongoing federal investigation into his campaign fundraising, reports said Friday.
Agents approached Adams on the street and asked his security detail to step away, a source told The New York Times. They provided the mayor with a warrant and took his devices — at least two cellphones and an iPad earlier this week, which were returned to him within a few days.
According to Adams’s campaign attorney Boyd Johnson, the campaign discovered “an individual had recently acted improperly.” The behavior was reported to investigators “in the spirit of transparency and cooperation.”
“On Monday night, the FBI approached the mayor after an event. The Mayor immediately complied with the FBI’s request and provided them with electronic devices,” Johnson said in an emailed statement. “The mayor has not been accused of any wrongdoing and continues to cooperate with the investigation.”
The seizure of the mayor’s devices was a significant development and the first direct instance of the investigation affecting Adams.
“As a former member of law enforcement, I expect all members of my staff to follow the law and fully cooperate with any sort of investigation–and I will continue to do exactly that,” Adams said in an emailed statement. “I have nothing to hide.”
FBI agents recently raided the home of Brianna Suggs, a top fundraiser and friend of Adams, after questions about his fundraising tactics arose.
The federal investigation examines whether his 2021 team conspired with the Turkish government and others to funnel money into his campaign.
The FBI’s New York field office declined to comment.
When news broke of Suggs’s apartment raid, Adams canceled planned meetings in Washington, D.C., and flew home to Manhattan.
The FBI search warrant for Suggs included financial records for her individually, any documents related to the mayor’s 2021 campaign, travel records and her laptop and tablet.
Adams released a statement after the initial raid saying he is angry and outraged if “anyone attempted to use the campaign to manipulate our democracy and defraud our campaign.” He said he had no knowledge, direct or otherwise, of “improper fundraising activity.”
The investigation pertains to Adams’s 2021 election campaign to see if he conspired with the Turkish government to receive illegal foreign donations.
The FBI was looking for evidence to support a theory that included theft of federal funds and the conspiracy to steal federal funds, wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy, and campaign contributions by foreign nationals and conspiracy to make the contributions, the Times previously reported.