Eric Adam’s Aide Cooperating in Federal Corruption Probe, Report Says

One month after the FBI declared its intention to investigate foreign trips taken by New York Democratic Mayor Eric Adams on Turkish Airlines, a senior official from City Hall is now collaborating with the investigation.

Rana Abbasova, who had previously served as the mayor’s representative to the Turkish population in the city, is now helping federal investigators. The central question of the inquiry is whether Adams’ 2021 campaign colluded with the Turkish government or others to launder funds into its coffers.

The FBI’s multi-pronged probe centers in part on the improvements that Adams obtained from Turkish Airlines. Cenk Öcal, a former CEO of Turkish Airlines and a part of Adams’ mayoral transition committee, had his residence seized in November 2023. In November, federal authorities also confiscated an iPad and other phones belonging to Adams.

Reportedly, Abbasova started cooperating a few weeks after the FBI raid on her residence in early November.

Adams often reported official travel to Turkey while serving as president of the Brooklyn Borough. In April, the former NYPD detective’s lawyer, Brendan McGuire, disputed that Adams had ever received unlawful improvements or done questionable things in return for them.

While Adams was at his borough office, Abbasova—who is originally from Azerbaijan—also worked with him. Today, Abbasova has a prominent position in the city’s office for foreign affairs.

Abbasova is free of accusations. Allegations that the city pushed FDNY officials to authorize a new Turkish consulate despite safety concerns were one part of Adams’ inquiry that the Times revealed.

The mayor’s legal defense fund has raised almost $650,000 since its inception two months ago, according to Adams’ campaign compliance counsel.

In November, City Hall Chief Counsel Lisa Zornberg responded to the story by saying that the mayor and his team are continuing to work with investigators and cooperate, saying that because inappropriate leaks of investigative facts might bias the public and damage the integrity of the law enforcement process, the mayor expects that investigators will penalize any federal officer who has done so.