[Fox News] NYC FBI probe: Adams admits contacting FDNY commissioner on Turkish consulate

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams admitted to contacting the FDNY commissioner during the summer of 2021, as the FBI’s investigation into alleged corruption heats up. 

Taking questions during a media availability Tuesday, Adams again stressed that he has not been accused of wrongdoing and is cooperating with federal authorities. 

Adams admitted he contacted then-Fire Department of New York Commissioner Daniel Nigro in the summer of 2021 while he was serving his second term as Brooklyn Borough president regarding the opening of a Manhattan skyrise that now houses the Turkish consulate, but he insisted his actions followed the law. 

“This is what we do every day. You know, you reach out to an agency and ask them to look into a matter. You don’t reach out to an agency to compel them to do anything because I had no authority to do so. I was the borough president,” Adams said Tuesday. At the time of the communication, he had recently won the 2021 Democratic mayoral primary. 

“And so, yes, we reached out because our constituency had the largest Turkish population outside of Paterson, New Jersey, in this country. I believe it was in Brooklyn as the Brooklyn borough president. And we reached out to the commissioner to assist, to find out what was happening and ask him to look at that,” Adams said. 

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“And we’re talking about Commissioner Nigro… over 50 years of being a firefighter, a 9/11 hero. He is an optimum professional, and I’m sure he’s going to, you know, take the necessary questions. And if he was able to do something, he would. And if he couldn’t, he’d say that he couldn’t.” 

The public admission came after the New York Times first reported Sunday that the FBI was probing Adams for allegedly pressuring FDNY officials to open the building before Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited New York City to attend the United Nations General Assembly, despite safety concerns about the structure. 

Federal authorities have not publicly disclosed the nature of the FBI’s probe into New York City politics, and City Hall Chief Counsel Lisa Zornberg told reporters on Tuesday, “my expectation is that any improper leaks by federal law enforcement officers will be fully investigated by federal law enforcement.” 

The FBI seized cellphones and electronics from Adams last week. Last month, FBI agents searched the Brooklyn home of Adams’ top campaign fundraiser, Brianna Suggs, prompting the mayor to cancel a planned trip to meet with White House officials in Washington and instead return to New York. 

Noting how Adams has spoken against President Biden’s federal immigration policies as New York City grapples with the influx of more than 100,000 migrants, another reporter asked Adams point-blank if he believes the inquiries “initiated against your campaign finance is the result of political vendetta?” 

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“Our criticism, critique, analysis is based on the fact that this is unsustainable for New York City. And I can’t speculate. That is, people are upset because I’m raising that,” Adams said in response. “I must fight on behalf of New Yorkers, like the coalition we put together. And I’m really thankful that we are really having a good coalition right now with Chicago. With Denver, you’re seeing a governor of Massachusetts, Houston, of people realize that local municipalities should not carry the weight of a national problem. And stated that last year this is not, you know, an attack on the president. And in fact, you know, I kick myself by calling myself the Biden of Brooklyn. 

“I thought that, you know what? He helped us around crime and other initiatives were important,” Adams said of the president. “But this is a real issue for our city, as we just mentioned, the economic strain to this city is something that is not sustainable and we have to get assistance that we need from the federal government.” 

As a reporter pressed if Adams would resign if it turns out he is federally indicted, City Hall counsel stressed that they would not “impede a federal investigation” by going into more detail. 

“I’m not going to speculate on that,” Adams said. “You are all the way down field. I’m going to continue to do the job as the mayor as long as my responsibility to do the job.” 

“Do you have a view that this investigation is somehow of retribution?” another reporter pressed. “Do you believe that someone in the FBI is out to get you? And are you confident that as the Southern District does continue to investigate, they’re not going to find any impropriety with your campaign finances?” 

In response, Adams insisted his campaign does not use straw donors or quid pro quo. 

“We follow the law,” Adams said. “I’m very clear on that. I’ve stated it from my days in the police department to my days of state senator, to my days of borough president. And as the mayor, you know, I, I just strongly believe that that’s what I spent my life enforcing the law. And I’m going to continue to tell the team that, you know, we follow the law in this administration and in all of my administrations.” 

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