NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams suddenly aborted a White House meeting on the asylum seeker crisis on Thursday after the FBI and the NYPD launched a series of raids on New York locations, including the home of his chief fundraiser.
City Hall has been tight lipped about why the mayor suddenly left Washington, but sources told CBS New York the about-face happened after the mayor got word of an international probe into “foreign government influence peddling.”
“You probably heard the reports involving one of my campaign staffers, and listen, everyone knows me. I comply with the rules. We’re going to comply with any inquiry, and we will all do that. That is what we do. I have not been contacted by anyone involving this, and I’m just going to continue running this city, the greatest city on the globe,” Adams said Thursday evening.
His campaign counsel said the mayor has not been contacted about the probe and it is unclear how many people in the Adams’ circle could be involved.
An early Thursday morning raid in a quiet Crown Heights, Brooklyn neighborhood featured FBI agents — some in raid jackets, some in plain clothes — that were seen carrying evidence boxes from the home the mayor’s chief fundraiser, Brianna Suggs. That prompted Adams to blow off a White House meeting on the migrant crisis and return home.
A City Hall spokesman said only, “The mayor returned to New York City to address a matter.”
Sources said the Crown Heights raid was one of multiple locations visited by cops and federal agents as part of an international probe into what two sources described as “foreign government influence peddling.”
It was unclear just what that involved and how many people in the mayor’s circle were under scrutiny.
One high-placed source told CBS New York the federal probe may consider a foreign country, Turkey, that Adams .
The mayor’s campaign counsel said, “Mayor Adams has not been contacted as part of this inquiry. He has always held the campaign to the highest standards.”
City Hall referred all calls to his campaign office because the first raid was at Suggs’ Crown Heights brownstone.
According to published reports, FBI agents from one of the agency’s public corruption squads questioned Suggs during the raid. She has not ben charged with a crime and there was no information about what was in the evidence boxes agents were seeing loading into a black van.
Adams made a social media post from the plane to Washington before the sudden decision to come back to New York.
In addition to working for the campaign, Suggs has been paid nearly $100,000 over the past two years. Suggs is also a fundraiser and lobbyist.
Late Thursday afternoon, Deputy Mayor Fabian Levy issued a statement, saying, “The mayor heard of an issue related to the campaign, and takes these issues seriously, so he wanted to get back to New York as quickly as possible. He plans to return to Washington and reschedule these meetings as soon as he can.”
Again, no arrests have been made, no charges have been filed, and according to the mayor’s lawyer, Adams has not been contacted.