FBI agents seized the New York mayor’s cell phones and other devices in an escalation of a federal investigation into campaign fundraising, US media reported Friday.
The seizure appears to be part of a corruption investigation into whether Eric Adams’ 2021 campaign conspired with Turkey’s government, according to The New York Times, which broke the story.
Citing people with knowledge of the matter, the paper said Adams was approached by agents on Monday after an event, who asked the mayor’s security personnel to step away from his vehicle before climbing inside with him.
The agents then took devices including at least two cellphones and an iPad, which the Times said were returned to him within days.
A lawyer for the mayor did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment.
The federal probe into Adams’ campaign went public last week when FBI agents searched the home of his former top fund-raiser — a 25-year-old one-time intern, Brianna Suggs — seizing laptops, cell phones and a manila folder labeled “Eric Adams.”
News of the raid prompted the mayor reverse course and return to New York from Washington, where he was to have met with officials at the White House and Congress over an influx of migrants into his city.
The FBI’s warrant to search Suggs’ home sought evidence of conspiracy between the mayor’s campaign, the Turkish government and a Brooklyn-based developer whose owners are Turkish, according to The Times.
The warrant reportedly indicated that authorities were probing whether donations from either Turkey’s government or Turkish nationals were made to Adams via a scheme under which false contributors would be listed.
The seizure of Adams’ devices would mark the first time the investigation had directly reached New York’s mayor.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)