New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) has raised more than $650,000 for a legal defense fund amid a corruption investigation into his campaign, the fund's attorney confirmed Monday.
The Eric Adams Legal Defense Trust was established by Mr. Adams in November in response to a federal investigation into whether the mayor's campaign colluded with the Turkish government to receive foreign donations.
The foundation's attorney, Vito Pitta, confirmed to The Hill that the foundation had raised more than $650,000 as of Dec. 31.
The fund will allow Adams to collect legal fees without violating city law regarding gifts to politicians. Adams can receive up to $5,000 in contributions for legal fees, provided he discloses the donor to prevent future conflicts of interest. His subordinates are also prohibited from contributing to the fund based on certain regulations.
Pitta told The Hill that the Defense Trust continues to raise funds this month, with the total estimated at $725,000 as of Monday. The fund is required to file its first contribution disclosure report with New York City's Conflicts of Interest Commission by Tuesday, but the additional funds raised this month will be used in the fund's second donation disclosure report, due on April 15. It will be included in the quarterly report.
Mr. Adams' mayoral campaign is accused of facilitating illegal donations from Turkish interest groups and colluding with the Turkish government. The accusations came to the forefront in early November after federal agents raided the Brooklyn home of Brianna Suggs, a top fundraiser and friend of Adams.
Suggs served as Adams' 2021 mayoral campaign fundraising director and was named mayor's fundraising director. During a search of her home in November, FBI agents retrieved financial records of Suggs and any entities she controls or is associated with, documents related to the mayor's 2021 campaign, and employee travel to Turkey. Records and documents related to interactions between Mr. Suggs and Mr. Suggs were searched. Campaign and Middle Eastern countries.
The FBI also seized the mayor's electronic devices as part of the investigation, including at least two cell phones and an iPad.
Adams has denied responsibility or knowledge of the alleged Turkish donations and has repeatedly said he has not been directly accused of wrongdoing. When the allegations surfaced last fall, Adams said he would be angry if “someone tried to use this campaign to manipulate our democracy and defraud the campaign.”
“I want to be clear: I have no knowledge of any improper fundraising, direct or otherwise, and certainly no knowledge of foreign funding,” the mayor said in November. Stated. “Of course, as always, we will continue to work with authorities to respond to inquiries as necessary.”
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