(The Center Square) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams is denying any wrongdoing but has lawyered up as the FBI continues to investigate his fundraising arm following the arrest of a key campaign organizer.
Last week, federal agents raided the home of Breanna Suggs as part of an investigation into whether Adams’ 2021 mayoral campaign conspired with a Brooklyn-based construction company to funnel foreign money into the campaign by way of a straw donor scheme.
But Adams denies any wrongdoing and claims that his campaign “followed the rules” during his run for mayor. He noted that neither he nor Suggs has been accused of crimes by state or federal authorities.
“I would be shocked if someone states that our campaign coordinated any illegal behavior,” the Democrat told reporters on Wednesday during a live-streamed briefing, where he was peppered with questions about the FBI probe. “I cannot tell you how much I start the day with telling my team ‘we’ve gotta follow the law.'”
But Adams cut short a meeting in Washington, D.C., with federal officials to discuss the migrant crisis to return home following the raid on Suggs home last week and told reporters Wednesday that he has hired a personal attorney.
He also defended Suggs, whom he said “outraised every other fundraiser in the race” and “worked hard” to drum up the funds to help get him elected.
“I’m really proud of her, and I’m sure she is going to get through this because she followed the rules,” Adams told reporters.
Adams, up for reelection in two years, also faces a probe by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office announced several months ago it was investigating allegations that donors used Adams’ mayoral campaign to make donations for political influence.
In September, Adam’s former city buildings commissioner, Eric Ulrich, was arrested and charged with using his position to get political favors and provide access to the mayor in exchange for cash and other bribes, according to state prosecutors. Ulrich and other co-defendants in the case have pleaded not guilty.
Adams denied involvement in the alleged crimes, which did not directly implicate his mayoral campaign or administration.