What exactly did Mayor Eric Adams do when he rushed back to the Big Apple from Washington D.C. last Thursday upon learning the home of his chief campaign fundraiser had been raided by federal agents?
The mayor declined to answer the question when reporters posed it to him multiple times Wednesday during his first press briefing since last week’s incident.
“I’m not gonna go into the exact particulars of what actions I did, but I was here and I was present,” Hizzoner said.
“I communicated and I navigated the ongoing situation,” he later said when pressed for more details.
The mayor abruptly dropped out of several planned meetings with federal officials, organized by Denver Mayor Mike Johnson, to discuss the ongoing migrant crisis on Nov. 2 to travel back to the city following the federal action. He insisted he wanted to be “on the ground” to make sure his campaign team and his City Hall staff were complying with the inquiry and that he was not worried about the optics of the situation.
“You can’t govern by optics, you gotta govern by action,” he said. “And if you govern by anytime someone is going to perceive something … then you’re not gonna make the right decisions when you need to make the right decisions.”
The FBI raid that abruptly drew Adams home was on the Brooklyn residence of his top campaign fundraiser — 25-year-old Brianna Suggs. Federal agents searched Suggs’ house looking for documents as part of a broad investigation into whether Adams’ 2021 mayoral campaign conspired with the Turkish government to receive illegal donations through a Brooklyn-based construction firm, according to published reports.
Suggs was questioned by federal agents, who also seized boxes from her home, but was not arrested. Neither Suggs nor Adams have been accused of any wrongdoing.
Adams has defended Suggs since her home was searched. First, in a Friday interview on PIX11 and again on Wednesday, the mayor sung Suggs’ praises and said he plans to keep her on his 2025 reelection campaign team.
When questioned by reporters on why he felt he needed to jet back to the city from D.C., the mayor said it was to support Suggs.
“I had a 25-year-old staffer that I saw grow up as an intern that had a traumatizing experience in her life,” Adams said. “There was a professional part of maintaining my staff, my city, but I think sometimes we miss the fact that there’s a human part to life. As a human being … Although I’m mayor, I have not stopped being a man and a human.”
But when asked what he specifically did to comfort Suggs, Adams said “I did not speak with Brianna the day of the incident because I did not want to give any appearance of interference.”