A federal corruption investigation is scrutinizing whether the Turkish government benefited from donations to New York City Mayor Eric Adams' campaign, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.
Then-candidate Adams was asked by Turkish officials in September 2021 for help keeping the opening of the new Turkish Consulate on Manhattan's East Side on schedule, the sources said. Adams, who was Brooklyn borough president at the time, had won the Democratic primary but was not yet elected mayor.
The building was waiting for a temporary certificate of occupancy from the FDNY ahead of its scheduled grand opening later that month, according to sources.
In a statement Sunday, Adams chalked the contact up to constituent services.
"As a borough president, part of my routine role was to notify government agencies of issues on behalf of constituents and constituencies. I have not been accused of wrongdoing and I will continue to cooperate with investigators," the mayor's statement said in response to the investigation.
"The mayor and our team are continuing to work with investigators and cooperate," city hall chief counsel Lisa Zornberg said in a statement. "We hope that investigators will continue to cooperate with us and reprimand any federal officer who has improperly leaked details about this investigation as such conduct could prejudice the public and undermines the integrity of our law enforcement process."
According to sources, Adams received a text from a Turkish government official asking if he knew then-FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro. Adams reached out to Nigro on the matter, according to sources, but it is not immediately clear whether he requested or directed him to do anything.
Nigro, according to sources, texted back that the building would receive the required approval in time for a Sept. 20 opening. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in town for the United Nations General Assembly at the time, presided over the opening of the new consulate.
FBI agents seized the mayor's electronic devices following an event on Nov. 6 in an apparent effort to retrieve the text exchange.
The FBI had declined to comment to ABC News regarding the seizure. The mayor's office confirmed that the seizure took place on Monday. The mayor has denied any wrongdoing.
"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. I have nothing to hide," Adams said in a statement.
Boyd Johnson, a campaign attorney for Adams, said last week it was discovered that an individual recently acted improperly, and they acted on that information.
"In the spirit of transparency and cooperation, this behavior was immediately and proactively reported to investigators. The mayor has been and remains committed to cooperating in this matter. 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. The mayor has not been accused of any wrongdoing and continues to cooperate with the investigation," Johnson said in a statement.
Federal authorities have been looking into a Brooklyn construction company owned by Turkish immigrants to see whether it acted as a conduit for illegal Turkish money into the mayor's campaign, sources have told ABC News. FBI agents executed a search warrant at the home of top mayor fundraiser Brianna Suggs on Nov. 2.