From a worsening migrant crisis to an FBI probe into his campaign finances, New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ political struggles have continued to build over the past year.
The challenges are once again threatening to derail his administration in ways reminiscent of former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s downfall, one political expert told Fox News Digital.
According to Nicholas Giordano, a political science professor at Suffolk Community College and a Leadership Institute Campus Reform Higher Education fellow, Adams’ fate amid these brewing challenges will ultimately rest with those in his own party. How Democrats react to recent potential scandals could determine whether Adams’ political career has reached “the beginning of the end,” much like Cuomo two years ago.
The latest blow to Adams came last week with an accusation of sexual assault, something Cuomo also faced, in the form of him being named as the defendant in a court summons filed in the state Supreme Court in Manhattan by a woman seeking a trial and at least $5 million in damages, according to a report by The Messenger.
According to the report, the summons said the “plaintiff was sexually assaulted by Defendant Eric Adams in New York, New York in 1993 while they both worked for the City of New York.”
“I think it is an accurate comparison to a certain degree,” Giordano said when asked about the similarities between Adams and Cuomo. “When you look at Gov. Cuomo, it wasn’t necessarily the nursing home situation that brought him down. I mean, it was the single worst decision in the coronavirus pandemic and the response. But that’s not what brought him down. It was the sexual harassment claims that brought him down.”
Giordano was referring to the nursing home scandal that rocked Cuomo’s administration amid the coronavirus pandemic, when thousands of nursing home residents died as a result of his requirement that the facilities accept patients testing positive for COVID-19.
“When you look at Mayor Adams, it’s not his handling of the migrant situation that’s going to be the thing that actually ultimately brings him down. It’s how Democrats react to the potential campaign finance scandal that may exist and the sexual harassment claim that has come out [from] 1993,” Giordano said.
The sexual assault allegation comes as Adams, who was elected mayor in 2021, remains the subject of an FBI probe for allegedly pressuring FDNY officials to open a Manhattan skyrise that now serves as the Turkish consulate despite safety concerns. The alleged pressure from Adams came ahead of a planned visit to New York City by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
Federal authorities have not publicly disclosed the nature of the probe, but Adams’ electronic devices were seized by the FBI earlier this month as part of an investigation into whether his 2021 campaign received illegal donations from the Turkish government.
Adams has maintained that he has “nothing to hide” pertaining to the investigation, and has insisted he will “fully cooperate.”
Adams faces the investigations as he continues to deal with the effects of the worsening migrant crisis on the city, an issue that came to a head earlier this year when Republican Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida began sending migrants to New York City, among other Democrat-run cities, as a response to their opposition to GOP policies aimed at tightening the border.
To Giordano, whether Adams will ultimately overcome these challenges depends largely on support, or lack thereof, from his fellow Democrats.
“I think that’s what Mayor Adams has to worry about most. If Democrats start to turn on him, then it may be the beginning of the end of his administration, because when your own political party does it, your own political party throws you under the bus, then that spells the beginning of the end. It’s like Brutus with Julius Caesar,” he said.
“The problem that Mayor Adams has is he hasn’t made too many friends in the Democrat Party by criticizing Biden’s handling of the open borders. He has gone hard after the Biden administration. The city is under an enormous amount of pressure. City budgets have to be cut in order to handle the migrants and put them up in residence,” Giordano said.
He added that Adams’ attempts to distance himself from the Biden administration’s handling of the migrant crisis may have “turned off” Democrats who might have otherwise come to his defense, and that they may now be more prone to “sit on the sidelines and let these scandals continue to brew.”
When asked if he thought there was any chance of Adams making a comeback from the piling on of issues or if he would suffer the same fate as Cuomo and be forced out of office, Giordano noted a major difference in the allegations of sexual misconduct between the two men.
“I don’t think he’ll necessarily face the same fate because Cuomo’s sexual harassment claims were recent. It’s not like it was in the past. And even worse is the fact that Gov. Cuomo used his office to punish those that he sexually harassed. Whereas Mayor Adams’ sexual harassment claim stems from a 1993 incident that Mayor Adams claims he doesn’t recall,” he said.
“If I was Mayor Adams, I would be much more concerned about the Turkish involvement in the campaign finances and the FBI investigation. To me, that’s going to be the most serious of the scandals and that has the potential to have legs. If he was receiving foreign monies, well, it could be a Bob Menendez type of situation,” he added, referring to the New Jersey senator facing corruption charges.
The three-page court summons contained in The Messenger’s report did not reveal specific details of the assault Adams is alleged to have committed, but New York civil court permits a plaintiff to file a summons with legal notice to trigger a lawsuit which will be followed by a full complaint with details of the allegations.
A spokesperson for Adams told Fox News Digital that Adams “does not know who this person is,” and that he “doesn’t recall” ever meeting her. “He would never do anything to physically harm another person and vigorously denies any such claim,” they added.
Fox News’ Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report.