Two Manhattan grand juries have been convened and are hearing testimony regarding state and federal investigations into the campaign fundraising of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to a report in The New York Times. The report cited several people with knowledge of the proceedings who spoke anonymously as grand-jury proceedings are secret.
The testimony has centered on the mayor and some of his senior aides.
The state investigation is focused on whether the mayor or his aides raised money for Democratic candidates for State Senate in 2014 through upstate county committees and then transferred the money to the candidates. While there is generally no limit to how much the committees may transfer to candidates, if the donation was made for a specific candidate it would be restricted by the limit on how much a donor may give to a particular candidate.
The federal investigation is focused on whether the mayor or aides did favors for donors to his 2013 mayoral campaign and/or his political nonprofit organization.
De Blasio has maintained his innocence as the investigations into his fundraising became public in April. On Thursday, de Blasio spokesman Eric F. Phillips reiterated the mayor’s innocence and said, “He remains focused on running the city.”
At an unrelated news conference earlier this week, de Blasio was asked if any requests had been made of him or any of his “employees in city government” to testify before a grand jury.
De Blasio replied, “I have not been asked to testify before a grand jury. I can’t speak to other people.”