NYC Mayor Eric Adams turned to WilmerHale to help him out of his whole “federal corruption probe” problem, after the FBI raided a top campaign staffer’s home and then stopped the Mayor on the street to seize his electronics. The investigation of a sitting NYC Mayor puts Adams in uncharted territory — namely a problem that he can’t glibly blame on teenagers having dirtbikes. But Biglaw representation isn’t cheap and Adams needs to pay those bills somehow… hey, why not raise the money from donors?
What’s the Turkish government’s Venmo handle?
“The Eric Adams Legal Defense Trust has drawn strong support in a short amount of time, raising more than $650,000 since it was formed just two months ago,” Vito Pitta, counsel to the fund, told CNN. The fund is required to disclose its first round of donations to the city’s Conflict of Interest Board by Tuesday.
While a significant amount of money, it’s not nearly enough to get a Biglaw legal team through a trial.
Moreover, the upcoming disclosure requires releasing the names of anyone who gave the fund over $100, which the FBI will happily cross-check with their list of suspicious campaign donors.
Some of the allegations being investigated involve a Brooklyn-based construction company owned by a Turkish American businessman who sources said gathered employees and others to write checks to the Adams campaign and then allegedly paid the donors back in full, skirting campaign finance laws.
Obviously Adams needs funds to pay legal bills, but why posture to the press about drawing “strong support in a short amount of time” in a case about fundraising? It’s not exactly the right time to be issuing statements saying: man, we’ve been delighted by the generosity of the Mayor’s highest-profile backers.
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.