State and federal prosecutors are delving into several cases surrounding New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who had his phones seized by the FBI last week.
Although Adams himself hasn’t faced accusations, the investigations involve campaign donations and allegations of official misconduct, posing a significant distraction for the newly elected mayor.
Three notable cases are currently casting shadows on Adams’ administration. In July, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg secured an indictment against six individuals and a construction safety firm, accusing them of a straw donor scheme to funnel money into Adams’ 2021 campaign.
In a separate case, Eric Ulrich, a former senior adviser to Adams and buildings commissioner, was charged in a bribery case alongside six others. Ulrich, a Republican and a significant fundraiser for Adams’ 2021 campaign, allegedly accepted cash, gifts, and favours in exchange for official actions.
FBI agents recently raided the home of the mayor’s 25-year-old campaign fundraiser, probing potential collusion with the government of Turkey and illegal donations from Turkish citizens in a straw donor scheme.
Adams, who previously aligned himself with President Joe Biden, has refused to discuss the latest case but is expected to address it in a scheduled press briefing on Tuesday.
The investigations involve complex legal issues, including straw donor schemes designed to evade campaign contribution restrictions. In October, two individuals implicated in the July case pleaded guilty, while Ulrich and his co-defendants maintained their innocence.
The FBI is reportedly examining whether Adams pressured city officials to expedite the opening of a midtown skyscraper built by the Turkish government before safety approvals in 2021. The probe includes a Brooklyn-based construction company with ties to Turkey.
The recent seizure of Adams’ phones suggests federal prosecutors are building a case, with Adams emphasising his commitment to cooperation and transparency. The investigations have emboldened critics, with potential implications for Adams’ political future as he navigates the legal challenges.
As the multiple probes unfold, the timeline for gathering evidence and potential indictments remains uncertain, with Adams asserting his adherence to the law and cooperation with investigators.