FBI agents seize New York mayor's electronics amid Turkey probe, reports say

Eric Adams's 2021 campaign under investigation for accepting funds from Turkish government-connected company in alleged straw donor scheme

The devices seized from Mayor Eric Adams – at least two mobile phones and an iPad – were returned within a matter of days. AP
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FBI agents have seized electronic devices from New York Mayor Eric Adams this week amid an investigation into whether his mayoral campaign accepted contributions from a company linked to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The New York Times first reported on the seizure on Friday, citing two people familiar with the matter. It comes a week after a raid on the home of his chief campaign fundraiser.

Federal authorities are investigating whether Mr Adams's 2021 campaign conspired with a Brooklyn construction company and the Turkish government to funnel foreign money into the campaign through a straw donor scheme.

The devices seized from the mayor – at least two mobile phones and an iPad – were returned within a matter of days, the Times said.

FBI agents had searched the home of Mr Adams's chief election campaign fundraiser, Brianna Suggs, on November 2, and she was questioned by public corruption investigators, city and local officials said.

Law enforcement officials have investigated several other associates of Mr Adams in recent months, Reuters reported.

In July, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced the indictment of six people he said had used a straw donor scheme to illegally generate public matching funds for Mr Adams's 2021 election campaign. All six men have pleaded not guilty.

Mr Adams, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing in the indictments, has said he and his campaign team had no knowledge of nor involvement in the alleged scheme.

His 2025 election campaign has paid Ms Suggs's consulting firm, Suggs Solutions, about $98,000 so far, public records show.

The alleged campaign donations came from three members of a foundation incorporated by a son of Mr Erdogan, and whose board members include Mr Erdogan’s daughter.

Campaign records show that between 2018 and 2021 the Adams campaign received $6,000 from three US citizens who are board members of the Turken Foundation, which registered as a foreign agent with the Department of Justice last year.

Turkish opposition leaders have alleged that the foundation is a vehicle for the Erdogan family to stash away millions of dollars outside the country.

Earlier this week, Mr Adams told news site THE CITY that he had met Mr Erdogan while serving as Brooklyn Borough president.

The developing investigation comes amid probes into possible Middle East connections to high-power politics in the US.

Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey was recently indicted for allegedly taking bribes to act on behalf of Egyptian officials and acting as an unregistered agent of Egypt's government. He has pleaded not guilty to all federal charges.

Updated: November 10, 2023, 11:38 PM