The FBI is investigating allegations that Eric Adams, the current mayor of New York City, colluded with Turkey to collect illicit foreign money donations during his campaign for mayor in 2021.
As part of their investigation into Adams’ top fundraiser, Brianna Suggs, 25, who gave $6,000 to his campaign between 2018 and 2021, is being investigated. On November 2, FBI officers raided her house, seizing cell phones, an iPad, and various papers.
A Turkish Airlines executive’s house was also examined, as were the offices of a Brooklyn construction firm run by Turkish immigrants who had collected money for Mayor Eric Adams. Three American board members of the Turken Foundation, formed by Bilal Erdogan, the son of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, gave $6,000 to Adams’ campaign between 2018 and 2021, prompting the initial inquiries.
Federal investigators are investigating whether Adams pushed New York Fire Department (FDNY) officials to approve the Turkish government’s new high-rise embassy in Manhattan despite safety concerns with the structure.
Legal expert Ryan Goodman said that the widening probe into more of Adams’ actions and ties with the Turkish government might enhance the mayor’s likelihood of incurring prison time.
City Hall Chief Counsel Lisa Zornberg said in an email that the mayor and his team are still cooperating with authorities despite the latest inquiries. Because of the potential for public bias and damage to our legal system’s credibility, she hopes that investigators will continue to work with them and discipline any federal official who has unlawfully released details about this inquiry.
Adams admitted that he had forwarded a request from the Turkish consulate to the then-fire commissioner of New York City, Daniel Nigro, asking Nigro to “look into” an approval process for the Turkevi Center, the consulate’s new high-rise building near the UN. The NYPD had concerns about safety with the construction, but delays risked the intention of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to display it in time for the UN general assembly that fall.
The event went on when a temporary permit was granted.