Mayor Adams’ Aide Rana Abbasova Urged Colleagues to ‘Delete’ Texts Following FBI RaidNovember 20, 2023
A top city official recently informed the FBI that City Hall staffer Rana Abbasova tipped colleagues to “delete” their text exchanges hours after the feds raided her home, a source close to the investigation into Mayor Adams’ campaign told the Daily News. The claim that Abbasova’s alleged conversations play a part in this was what Mayor Adams’ personal attorney Boyd Johnson referred to when he said weeks ago that “an individual had recently acted improperly” and that the “behavior was immediately and proactively reported to investigators.” The source described Abbasova’s request as part of the reason behind the FBI seizing Mayor Adams’ cell phones. Abbasova has since been placed on leave, according to an Adams’ administration official. Exactly who Abbasova reached out to after the raid is unclear. The source said the colleagues she allegedly contacted handle scheduling and accompany the mayor to events. The federal probe into Adams’ 2021 mayoral campaign began public on Nov. 2. The investigation is focused on whether Adams campaign accepted donations from the Turkish government that were filtered through so-called straw donors, which is illegal. Adams, Suggs and Abbasova have not been accused of any wrongdoing. Adams would not directly respond to questions about Abbasova at an unrelated announcement in the East Village on Monday, but reiterated what he described as his commitment to “participate [and] cooperate” with investigators. The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office, which is involved in leading the investigation, did not immediately return a request for comment. Abbasova did not return calls. On the same day as the Suggs’ raid, the feds also raided Abbasova’s home and seized her devices. Abbasova’s time working for Adams goes back to his days as Brooklyn borough president. After ascending to City Hall, she joined the administration to handle advance work for the mayor. According to an online bio, Abbasova works as an international affairs protocol director responsible for “vetting foreign delegations, organizing meetings with foreign delegations for the mayor and [International Affairs Commissioner Ed Mermelstein], and creating events for foreign dignitaries.” It’s unclear what role, if any, Abbasova played on Adams’ 2021 campaign.