New York City Mayor Eric Adams does not appear to be a target of the broadening public corruption probe focused on his 2021 campaign and the Turkish government, the mayor’s senior lawyer said Tuesday.
At the weekly press briefing for the mayor, Chief Counsel Lisa Zornberg made this remark on the same day that new information concerning a grand jury subpoena became public.
I have seen no evidence that the mayor is a target, Zornberg stated.
According to a CNN report, on November 2nd, FBI agents raided the house of the mayor’s primary fundraiser in addition to the offices of a Brooklyn construction firm and roughly 10 other places.
Investigators were apparently hunting for evidence of cooperation between Adams’ campaign and the government of Turkey, and that the campaign accepted illicit donations from Turkish people.
The mayor disclosed last week that he has hired a private attorney from WilmerHale to represent him during the investigation. On Tuesday, he stated that a compliance attorney was investigating whether or not he could pay for some of his legal bills out of campaign funds.
The investigation has Adams’s full cooperation. And it is my responsibility to step aside so that they can do their work in peace, even as it remains my to steer the city through the many challenges we now face.
Particularly under scrutiny is a conversation between Adams, who was mayor-elect but had not yet taken office, and former FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro in 2021, when Adams asked Nigro to sign off on the opening of a Turkish consulate building in Midtown despite concerns raised by fire inspectors.
According to CNN’s reporting, Nigro was served with a grand jury subpoena, suggesting that federal prosecutors are gathering evidence in preparation for a possible indictment. However, if a criminal case does develop, it is currently unknown who will be charged.
Adams explained his efforts to reach out to the Turkish population in Brooklyn as part of his formal duties as an elected official during his weekly press briefing. According to CNN’s investigation, Adams’s text message to Nigro simply urged him to look into the problem.
Elective officials “reach out to an agency and ask them to look into a matter” “every day,” Adams said. Since I was only the borough president, I couldn’t order any government department to do anything anyway. I was contacted since my town has more Turks than any other in the country (with the exception of Paterson, NJ).