FBI brokers seized the cell telephones of New York Metropolis Mayor Eric Adams as a part of a federal investigation into marketing campaign fundraising, an individual conversant in the matter informed CNN on Friday.
The brokers seized the telephones and an iPad earlier this week pursuant to a courtroom licensed search warrant, the particular person stated.
The seizure got here days after the FBI raided the house of Adams’ chief fundraiser as a part of the investigation to find out whether or not the mayor’s 2021 marketing campaign conspired with a Brooklyn-based development firm to funnel international cash into marketing campaign coffers.
The New York Occasions first reported the seizure of Adams’ digital gadgets.
“As a former member of regulation enforcement, I count on all members of my employees to observe the regulation and absolutely cooperate with any type of investigation — and I’ll proceed to do precisely that,” the mayor stated in an announcement to CNN on Friday. “I’ve nothing to cover.”
Adams’ marketing campaign lawyer and spokesperson, Boyd Johnson, informed CNN the mayor “instantly complied with the FBI’s request and supplied them with digital gadgets” after the FBI approached Adams following an occasion Monday night time.
“After studying of the federal investigation, it was found that a person had lately acted improperly. Within the spirit of transparency and cooperation, this habits was instantly and proactively reported to investigators,” Johnson stated.
The US lawyer’s workplace and the FBI declined to remark.
Regulation enforcement officers who’re conversant in final week’s search warrants informed CNN the investigators are searching for proof that international nationals – who’re barred from making contributions – might have “bundled” donations by going into New York’s Turkish American communities and getting US residents of Turkish origin to behave as “straw contributors.”
Adams defended his marketing campaign to reporters on Wednesday after information broke of the raid.
“It will actually shock me if somebody that was employed by my marketing campaign did one thing that’s inappropriate. Not solely would shock me, it might damage me,” Adams stated.
The mayor has touted his ties to the town’s Turkish American neighborhood and famous at a latest flag-raising ceremony in Decrease Manhattan that he had visited the nation at the very least six or seven instances.
The identical US lawyer’s workplace in September charged Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, with corruption-related offenses, alleging he took bribes in alternate for aiding the Egyptian authorities. Menendez pleaded not responsible to the costs.
This story has been up to date with extra developments.
CNN’s John Miller, Paul P. Murphy, Jeff Winter and Mark Morales contributed to this report.
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