NEW YORK - Mayor Eric Adams and his press team shut down any off-topic questions on Monday outside his weekly scheduled Tuesday press conference, as the investigation into his campaign's finances continues to heat up.
Adams has yet to answer serious questions from the media after news broke that his phones were seized by the FBI as part of an investigation into whether Turkish officials benefited from donating to his 2021 mayoral campaign.
Reporters tried to ask Monday when he was leaving a press conference.
"Tomorrow is off-topic," he replied waving off reporters.
A spokesperson for his campaign followed up later to say that no one else has had their phones seized or has been contacted by investigators that they are aware of. But over the weekend the New York Times reported that Turkish officials asked Adams to resolve building safety violations that were preventing the Turkish consulate from opening in Manhattan.
Adams allegedly reached out to the then FDNY commissioner in 2021, when he was still Brooklyn Borough president, but at that time had just won the Democratic mayoral primary. After Adams intervened, the consulate was able to open in late September.
Adams in a statement emphasized that he has not been accused of any wrongdoing and said quote "As a borough President part of my routine role was to notify government agencies of issues on behalf of constituents and constituencies."
Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who also used to serve as Manhattan borough president, said that on its face, reaching out to speed a project along isn’t unusual.
"I do I help people with the fire department all the time because the fire department has very few inspectors," Brewer said. "So I'm always calling the fire department to please hurry up and get the inspection done on the restaurant so we can open."
However, the FBI is allegedly looking into whether this is connected to donations made to Adams’ campaign. As part of this probe, the FBI raided the home of his top campaign fundraiser Brianna Suggs and then the next week seized Adams’ cell phones.
Adams' team claims that the phones were seized after they proactively reached out about an individual who they said was found to be acting improperly within the campaign but wouldn’t go into further detail.
Adams has not been particularly forthcoming about any of these details with the investigation and on Sunday complained about so-called leaks to the press.
"I’m really hoping that these periodic leaks stop," Adams said. "We’re cooperating and we need to do this together so all the facts can come out."
Governor Kathy Hochul at a separate press conference was asked about this investigation, and she said she doesn’t want to comment, but added that she hasn’t been contacted by federal authorities.