November 18, 2023
The Eric Adams Legal Defense Trust allows the NYC maor to raise money for his legal fees without being in violation of the city’s laws against politicians getting gifts
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has assembled a legal defense fund in the wake of the FBI probe against him. The Hill reported the Eric Adams Legal Defense Trust allows the mayor to raise money for his legal fees without being in violation of the city’s laws against politicians getting gifts. According to The New York Times, a second Adams aide and an ex-Turkish Airlines official had their homes raided as the FBI ratchets up their investigation into campaign donations.
Adams has not yet been directly accused of any criminal activity and he told The Hill, “I want to be clear, I have no knowledge, direct or otherwise, of any improper fundraising activity– and certainly not of any foreign money,” the mayor said. “We will of course work with officials to respond to inquiries, as appropriate–as we always have.”
As BLACK ENTERPRISE reported, the FBI confiscated Adams’ phone and electronic devices as a signal that they were escalating their investigation into whether or not Adams violated federal fundraising law in 2021. The mayor’s new fund will be monitored by the Conflicts of Interest Board and Adams issued a signed affidavit that says the fund “is necessitated by, and intended to defray, legal expenses in connection with the inquiries by the office of United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York related to the operations of the Eric Adams 2021 mayoral campaign committee,” Politico reported.
As part of their oversight, the board requires donations from individuals of over $100 to have their names and addresses attached to their donations to ensure there are no conflicts of interest. In addition to this, the city law limits donations to $5,000 as well as who can contribute. Adams subordinates, for example, cannot donate and neither can anyone doing business in the city.
Pitta LLP, the firm that did the campaign finance compliance for Adams’ campaign, is listed on the documents that established the defense fund. Vito Pitta, the co-managing partner of Pitta LLP, gave Politico a statement, saying, “After consultation with the Campaign Finance Board and the Conflicts of Interest Board, it was determined that a trust should be created for any legal expenses.”
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