Mayor Eric Adams has successfully raised $650,000 for his legal defense fund, established just two months ago in response to an ongoing federal probe. The fund, intended to cover any legal expenses arising from the investigation, is poised to unveil its first public report on Tuesday, as confirmed by sources at NY1.
Vito Pitta, legal counsel for the trust, expressed gratitude for the substantial support garnered within a brief timeframe, stating, “The Eric Adams Legal Defense Trust has drawn strong support, raising over $650,000 since its inception two months ago.” This financial backing comes as the mayor’s legal team, led by the esteemed law firm WilmerHale, prepares to address the federal investigation prompted by an FBI raid on the home of Adams’ chief fundraiser for the 2021 campaign. The FBI’s subsequent seizure of the mayor’s electronic devices has intensified the scrutiny.
Mayor Adams, vehemently denying any wrongdoing, asserts that his campaign has diligently adhered to campaign finance laws and regulations. He affirms full cooperation with the investigation, despite uncertainties regarding whether he is the primary target. The probe is reportedly exploring allegations of foreign funding, specifically from Turkey, funneling into Adams’ campaign coffers.
Notably, Adams stands as the inaugural city official to establish a legal trust under 2019 regulations implemented by the City Council. These regulations, a response to the legal challenges faced by former Mayor de Blasio, place stringent restrictions on the sources of donations officials can accept.
Prohibiting contributions from entities with current or potential city business, the trust is subject to scrutiny, with Adams’ team set to submit its inaugural fundraising report to the Conflicts of Interest Board on Tuesday. This report will comprehensively detail the contributors to the legal defense fund, shedding light on the financial support backing the mayor’s defense efforts.