The Democrat rushed back home from DC last week after federal agents raided the Brooklyn home of his top fundraiser and longtime confidante Brianna Suggs, 25, as part of an investigation into an alleged kickback scheme.
During his first press conference since the raid, Adams stood by Suggs and denied any wrongdoing, saying his campaign followed the rules and will continue do so during the investigation into his fundraising.
He said: ‘I sleep well at night. I am clear that we follow the rules, and I am angry if there are those that in any way attempt to do anything that would go against out process of how we collect campaign dollars.’
Adams added that he would be ‘shocked and hurt’ if officials found his campaign had done anything illegal.
New York City mayor Eric Adams has claimed he ‘sleeps well at night’ as he put his support behind his fundraising chief after the FBI raided her home
The Brooklyn home of Adam’s top fundraiser and longtime confidante Brianna Suggs, 25, was raided by the FBI as part of an investigation into an alleged kickback scheme
The mayor told reporters he decided to give the young woman an opportunity working in politics that ‘African Americans don’t get.’
‘African Americans often don’t get to play on a national scale, as fundraisers as media, speech writers… I had a young brilliant young lady who was an intern, hardworking, willing to work as many hours as possible,’ he said.
‘We saw an opportunity to open the path for her that I saw others get… she worked hard, she learned, and people who met her were really blown away, and I’m proud of her and she’s going to get through this.’
Neither Adams nor anyone in his campaign have been charged with any crimes.
‘We followed the rules because we know our campaign would be scrutinized,’ he told reporters.
With Suggs’ help, Adams has raised more than $2.5million for his re-election campaign.
Adams had been scheduled to lead a delegation in DC of mayors from the nation’s five largest cities struggling with an influx of migrants when he decided to head back to NYC.
Reporters on Wednesday scrutinized this decision, questioning if his choice showed he put his campaign issues ahead of the city’s current migrant crisis.
But Adams defended his decision to come back to NYC and miss the meetings with DC officials to ask for federal aid, saying he wanted to be present for his City Hall and campaign teams.
New York has by far received the highest number of migrants of any other northern city – over 120,000 in just 18 months
He said: ‘Migrants are our number one concern in this city… We’re pleased we built that coalition [of mayors],’ he said. ‘We’re seeing a coalition that I talked about and because it was in place they were able to continue the meetings.
‘This issue isn’t going away and I will be back in DC and I will address these issues.’
The meeting with senior White House staff — which included the mayors of Denver and Chicago — proceeded without Adams in attendance.
Adams on Wednesday repeated that the migrant situation has caused a five percent cut in city services, and possibly another five percent will be cut in January as NYC struggles with more than 120,000 new migrants.
Suggs has worked for Adams since 2017, when she joined his staff in the Brooklyn Borough president’s office as a teenager, reporting directly to her godmother, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, a longtime Adams ally who now serves as the mayor’s chief advisor.
When Adams, a Democrat, ran for mayor in 2021, Suggs served as a chief fundraiser and director of logistics, helping to organize events and solicit money from donors. Records show she has been paid more than $150,000 for her work on his previous campaign and his current reelection bid.
The New York Times obtained part of the search warrant, which revealed it was connected to an inquiry into Adams’s 2021 mayoral campaign.
Authorities are investigating whether the campaign conspired with a Brooklyn construction company and the Turkish government to funnel foreign money into the campaign’s coffers, apparently through a straw donor scheme.
As the mayor’s office deals with the investigation, the city continues dealing with the massive influx of migrants.
More than 2 million people crossed the border illegally between October 2022 and September 2023, according to Border Patrol data.
The surge of migrants in these cities is partly due to Texas governor Greg Abbott’s initiative of sending asylum seekers who cross the Mexico-US border to Democratic sanctuary cities in an attempt to highlight what he sees as open-border policies.
New York has by far received the highest number of migrants of any other northern city – over 120,000 in just 18 months. Adams first welcomed migrants sent north by Abbot, going to Port Authority to personally receive the first buses.
Speaking to reporters in August 2022, the mayor said: ‘As the mayor of New York, I have to provide services families that are here, and that’s what we’re going to do – our responsibility as a city, and I’m proud that this is a Right to Shelter state, and we’re going continue to do that.’
But the buses kept coming, and a year later, Adams is pleading for federal and state aid – asking a judge to suspend the Right to Shelter policy and limiting stays for migrants staying in the city’s care. The city is currently taking care of more than 60,000 migrants in hundreds of emergency shelters.
The city has signed over $5billion in nearly 200 contracts for migrant services since last year when he declared a state of emergency. Adams has said the crisis will cost the city $12billion over three years, and has warned New Yorkers will see their services affected by budget cuts to deal with the situation.
In May Adams made major changes to the 40-year-old ‘Right to Shelter’ law that guarantees a bed for anyone who needs it in the city, as his government asked for federal and state help to deal with the surge of migrants that he now says could destroy New York as we know it.
‘This issue will destroy New York City,’ Adams has said of the influx of asylum seekers.
Adams has even traveled to South America in his attempts to tell migrants to stay away from New York. His government has also sent fliers to the border saying the city is ‘at capacity’ and has an expensive cost of living.