FBI probes Eric Adams' for pressuring NYC officials into opening Turkey's consulate in Manhattan: report
The FBI is reportedly probing New York City Mayor Eric Adams for allegedly pressuring FDNY officials into clearing the Turkish consulate's high rise building in Manhattan.
The FBI is reportedly investigating New York City Mayor Eric Adams for possibly clearing the red tape to open a high rise housing the Turkish consulate in Manhattan.
The New York Times, citing three people with knowledge of the matter, first reported Sunday that Adams, after winning the Democratic primary, allegedly contacted then-New York Fire Department Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro in late summer 2021, urging him to allow the Turkish government to occupy the building at least on a temporary basis.
Fire officials had cited safety issues and declined to sign off on its occupancy, preventing the building from opening. The alleged intervention came while Adams was in his second term as Brooklyn borough president and before the November mayoral general election that year, when he defeated Republican candidate and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa.
Reached by Fox News Digital Sunday, the FBI declined to comment on the Times report.
Fox News Digital also reached out to the mayor's office and Adams' attorney, Boyd Johnson, regarding the allegations.
The Times reported that the FBI has been asking fire officials about Adams' unusual intervention since at least last spring as part of a broader corruption probe.
The newspaper cited a warrant for an FBI search of the home of the mayor's chief fundraiser in reporting that the federal investigation has centered in part around whether Adams' campaign conspired with the Turkish government, including its consulate general in New York, to illegally funnel foreign money into its coffers.
Citing people familiar with the matter and city records, the Times reported that Adams’ alleged intervention cleared the way for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to preside over the grand opening of the $300 million, 35-story tower while visiting New York in September 2021 for the United Nations General Assembly despite deficiencies in its fire safety system.
Adams' campaign issued a statement on his behalf provided to the Times Saturday morning.
"As a borough president, part of my routine role was to notify government agencies of issues on behalf of constituents and constituencies," Adams said. "I have not been accused of wrongdoing, and I will continue to cooperate with investigators."
The focus of the federal investigation has yet to be publicly disclosed by federal prosecutors.
FBI agents quietly seized phones and an iPad from Adams early last week as part of an investigation into political fundraising during his 2021 campaign, his attorney disclosed Friday.
The seizures happened as Adams was leaving a public event in Manhattan, according to a statement from Johnson.
"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," Johnson said. "The mayor has not been accused of any wrongdoing and continues to cooperate with the investigation."
The seizure of the devices, first reported by The New York Times, came four days after federal agents searched the Brooklyn home of Adams’ top campaign fundraiser, Brianna Suggs. That search prompted the mayor to cancel a planned trip to meet with White House officials in Washington and instead return to New York.
In a statement on Friday, Adams, a former police captain, said he had "nothing to hide." "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 said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.