New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) is maintaining that he has done nothing wrong after a New York Times report revealed the FBI was looking into whether he pressed officials to approve the opening of a Manhattan building for the Turkish government.
The FBI seized the electronic devices of Adams last week as part of a reported investigation into whether his 2021 team conspired with the Turkish government and others to funnel money into his campaign.
The Times reported Sunday that part of the investigation involves examining whether Adams pressured New York Fire Department officials to approve a new high-rise consulate in Manhattan for the Turkish government despite safety concerns.
Adams, who was the Brooklyn borough president when he reportedly contacted the fire department, has defended himself and said he will continue to work with investigators.
“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,” Adams said in a statement Monday obtained by The Hill.
The Times reported that shortly after winning the Democratic primary in July 2021, Adams asked then-Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro to allow the Turkish government to occupy the building on a temporary basis. The Times, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that the building had not opened at the time due to safety concerns put forward by fire officials, who declined to sign off on its occupancy.
In a statement to The Hill, New York City Hall Chief Counsel Lisa Zornberg took aim at those who revealed the details of the investigation.
“The mayor and our team are continuing to work with investigators and cooperate,” Zornberg said. “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.”
This also comes after FBI agents earlier this month raided the home of Brianna Suggs, a top fundraiser and friend of Adams, after questions about his fundraising tactics arose. Adams said at the time he had no knowledge of “any improper fundraising activity — and certainly not of any foreign money.”