By Emily Ngo, Jeff Coltin and Nick Reisman | November 6, 2023
Mayor Eric Adams landed in Washington, D.C. on Thursday at about the same time that federal agents were raiding his chief fundraiser’s home in Brooklyn.
He pulled up to his first meeting but never got out of the car before deciding to return home.
He was in the air back to New York City two hours after he arrived in Washington, a person familiar with his movements told Playbook.
He would miss a meeting with the mayors of Chicago and Denver to strategize on major cities’ collective approach to requesting $5 billion in federal aid to address migrants.
And the mayor who said the cost of migrants “will destroy New York City” would miss face-to-faces with White House chief of staff Jeff Zients, senior adviser Tom Perez, Department of Homeland Security officials and congressional leaders.
“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 told PIX11 on Friday, adding: “I felt the need of being here in the city.”
The investigation into whether Adams’ campaign conspired with the Turkish government, according to the New York Times, will carry on as New York and other big cities struggle to accommodate surges in migrants with limited federal help.
Adams said he needed to be “on the ground” in the wake of the raid on his fundraiser, Brianna Suggs.
But jetting home meant scrapping the chance to be on the ground in Washington.
And Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, not Adams, led the coalition urging federal resources.
New York City has 65,000 migrants in its care; Denver has 2,000.
“We have folks who want to work and employers who want to hire them and a federal government who is standing in the way,” Johnston said in a CBS News Colorado interview when he returned home from the high-level meetings.
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said the White House and congressional talks were “a step in the right direction.”
Adams said the migrant crisis remains a “crucial issue,” and he would reschedule the meetings in Washington.
But he now faces questions about both the city’s handling of migrants AND the probe into his campaign finances.
Playbook asked the mayor Friday why, as the Messenger reported, the NYPD showed up at Suggs’ Brooklyn home hours before feds raided it.
Call the NYPD and ask, Adams responded.
The department in a statement said the visit was standard procedure, just officers making sure the FBI had the right house.
But two former federal agents told the Messenger that they’d never heard of that practice. – Emily Ngo, Jason Beeferman and Jeff Coltin