FBI Seizes Eric Adams' iPhones, iPad in the Middle of the Street as Part of Corruption Investigation Days after Raiding His Chief Fundraiser's Home

In his first press conference following the raid on Wednesday, he did not mention the seizure of his devices, claiming that he "sleeps well at night."

FBI agents seized the electronic devices of New York City Mayor Eric Adams in connection to a federal inquiry into his campaign fundraising, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The agents seized two iPhones and an iPad earlier this week pursuant to a court-authorized search warrant, the source added.

The seizure is a dramatic escalation of the federal probe into whether his 2021 campaign collaborated with the Turkish government and other entities to unlawfully channel funds into its financial resources, bringing it directly to the mayor, a Democrat. The investigation is being handled by the FBI and the US attorney's office for the Southern District of New York.

Adams Under the Scanner

Eric Adams
Eric Adams X

Adams rushed from Washington, D.C. last week following a raid on his close associate and primary fundraiser, Brianna Suggs, 25. The investigation is centered around an alleged kickback scheme linked to the Turkish government and other entities.

In response to reports of his devices being confiscated, Adams told CNN that "he has nothing to hide."

Eric Adams
Eric Adams X

"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," he added.

According to The New York Times, FBI agents approached the Democrat on Monday night while he was on the street and requested his security team to step aside. The agents then entered Adams' SUV and seized his devices, including at least two cellphones and an iPad.

"After learning of the federal investigation, it was discovered that an individual had recently acted improperly. In the spirit of transparency and cooperation, this behavior was immediately and proactively reported to investigators," Adams' campaign attorney Boyd Johnson said in a statement.

"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."

Brianna Suggs
Brianna Suggs X

The devices were returned to Adams within a few days. The FBI has the authority to make copies of seized device data if a search warrant is obtained.

Adams, 63, revealed this week that he has hired a personal lawyer.

In his first press conference following the raid on Wednesday, he did not mention the seizure of his devices, claiming that he "sleeps well at night." He stood by Suggs, denying any wrongdoing.

The mayor asserted that his campaign adhered to the rules and emphasized its commitment to doing so throughout the investigation into the fundraising activities.

Defending Himself

Johnson did not disclose the identity of the individual or provide details regarding the mentioned inappropriate conduct.

Brianna Suggs
Brianna Suggs X

On Wednesday, Adams said that he would be "shocked and hurt" if authorities found any illegal activities within his campaign. In response to a question about potential personal federal charges, he chuckled, mentioning his retention of a lawyer from the law firm Wilmer Hale to represent him.

The mayor also informed reporters that he provided Suggs with an opportunity in politics, emphasizing that it was an opportunity not commonly afforded to African Americans.

"African Americans often don't get to play on a national scale, as fundraisers as media, speech writers... I had a young brilliant young lady who was an intern, hardworking, willing to work as many hours as possible," he said.

"We saw an opportunity to open the path for her that I saw others get... she worked hard, she learned, and people who met her were really blown away, and I'm proud of her and she's going to get through this."

As of now, neither Adams nor anyone associated with his campaign has faced any criminal charges.

 Eric Adams
Eric Adams @ericadamsfornyc

The search warrant, initially reported by the New York Times, also investigated whether Adams' campaign exploited New York City's public matching program. This program provides an eight-to-one match for the initial $250 of a resident's contribution.

Adams has frequently boasted about his connections with Turkey, going as far as stating last month that he is "probably the only mayor in the history of this city that has not only visited Turkey once, but I think I'm on my sixth or seventh visit to Turkey."

Despite this, he downplayed the gravity of the investigation last week, remarking, "where there's smoke, there's not always fire."