Mayor Eric Adams on Friday said he has “full confidence” in the integrity of his top campaign fundraiser, Brianna Suggs, after her home was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Thursday as part of a federal corruption probe into his 2021 mayoral campaign.
During an interview with PIX11’s Dan Mannarino on Friday — Adams’ first since Suggs’ Brooklyn home was searched — he defended Suggs and said he wants to keep her on his campaign team.
Suggs has led the fundraising for Adams’ 2025 re-election bid, in addition to her work for him in the 2021 cycle.
“I have full confidence in her,” the mayor told Manarrino. “She has done an amazing job and … I would love to have her continue to stay with the campaign team.”
The investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) is looking into whether Aams’ campaign conspired with a Brooklyn-based Construction company and the Turkish government to direct foreign money into its coffers through straw donors, according to a report from The New York Times.
The feds raided Suggs’ home, a row-house in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, Thursday morning in search of her financial records, campaign financial documents and correspondence between the campaign and Turkish government officials. Suggs was also questioned during the raid and subpoenaed to testify in front of a federal grand jury in Manhattan, according to the Times’ report.
Adams’ campaign says he has not been contacted in connection with the inquiry.
In a statement later Friday, the mayor said he had “no knowledge, direct or otherwise” of the alleged fundraising scheme.
“I am outraged and angry if anyone attempted to use the campaign to manipulate our democracy and defraud our campaign,” Adams said in the statement. “I want to be clear, I have no knowledge, direct or otherwise, of any improper fundraising activity — and certainly not of any foreign money.”
Adams’ campaign attorney Vito Pitta, in his own statement released simultaneously, said that upon hearing of the federal probe, the campaign launched an “extensive review” of the documents and campaign workers associated with the contributions under scrutiny.
Amid the TV interview Friday, the mayor said he is “not familiar” with the Brooklyn construction firm at the center of the investigation — KSK Construction Group.
“I cannot tell you … how many thousands of people contribute to our campaign,” Adams said. “I attend so many fundraisers, meet so many different people throughout the part of raising funds. I am not familiar with this organization at all. It’s one of the many different groups and organizations that contributes to the campaign.”
He insisted his campaign compliance team has “very strict” standards and makes sure contributions comply with city Campaign Finance Board (CFB) rules as well.
Suggs, 25, has worked for Adams since 2017, when she interned for him during his tenure as Brooklyn borough president, according to her LinkedIn profile. As Adams’ fundraiser, Suggs claims to have ranked in $18.4 million for his 2021 primary and general election runs combined.
The mayor stood firmly behind Suggs, who is also reportedly the goddaughter of his chief adviser Ingrid Lewis-Martin, throughout the Friday TV interview.
“[She’s] a very bright, energetic, smart young lady who worked hard,” Adams said. “She led the fundraising numbers when you looked at throughout the entire campaign. And I feel confidence in her integrity and how hard she works … And she stood up from [being an] intern, became a good staffer and ran our entire fundraising apparatus in this previous campaign and this one as well.”
The mayor said he has not spoken with Suggs since her home was searched, but that she has been communicating with his campaign’s attorney.
The raid led Adams to scrap a day of planned meetings on the migrant crisis in Washington D.C. — with White House officials and members of Congress — on Thursday and hightail it back to the Big Apple. Adams was set to take the meetings with Denver Mayor Mike Johnson and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, who both proceeded without him.
When asked by Manarrino why he felt he needed to drop out of high-level meetings in the nation’s capital to scurry back to the city, Adams said he wanted to be “on the ground” as the investigation unfolded.
“I was notified by our team that something was taking place with the campaign staffer, and I wanted to be here to make sure that we fully complied,” Adams said. “As I always stated, at least anytime there’s any type of review, that we’re going to fully comply.”