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Oakland mayor breaks silence after FBI raid: ‘I have done nothing wrong’

Oakland mayor breaks silence after FBI raid: ‘I have done nothing wrong’

Oakland’s embattled mayor Sheng Thao gave her first public remarks Monday after federal agents raided her home. 

“I want to be crystal clear. I have done nothing wrong,” Thao said, reading prepared remarks from the podium. “I can tell you with confidence that this investigation is not about me. I have not been charged with a crime, and I am confident I will not be charged with a crime because I am innocent.” 

Her remarks, carried by FOX 2, come four days after FBI agents carried boxes out of the home she shares with her son and partner as part of an investigation that included searches of two other houses owned by another family.

Thao said the timing of the very public raid was “troubling” as it came days after backers of a mayoral recall were informed by the city clerk that they had collected enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, likely in November. 

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Thao derided the recall campaign as a waste of time and resources. She suggested that a handful of billionaires from San Francisco and Piedmont are “hellbent” on running her out of office. 

“I want to know why the day following the qualification of a recall election, funded by some of the richest people in the Bay Area, seemed like the right day to execute a warrant,” Thao said. 

FBI Thao

Backers of the recall say public safety and economic vitality have worsened under the politically progressive mayor, and that she should not have fired Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong.

It appears Thao and her son were home Thursday morning during the raid. She said her first priority was to make sure they were safe.

Agents also searched two homes owned by members of the politically influential Duong family that owns the recycling company Cal Waste Solutions. The firm has been investigated over campaign contributions to Thao and other elected city officials, the local news outlet Oaklandside reported in 2020.

Before resigning Monday, Thao’s attorney, Tony Brass, said that the Oakland Mayor was not the target of the recent investigation. 

“Mayor Thao is ready, willing and able to cooperate fully with federal investigators. She has nothing to hide,” Brass said. 

Brass resigned Monday after Mayor Thao gave a press conference without informing him, per reporting from KRON 4. 

Thao, 38, took office in 2023. She is of Hmong descent and says she grew up poor.

“And when my parents came to this country fleeing genocide, they never could have imagined that their daughter would one day be mayor of Oakland. I am my ancestors’ wildest dream,” she said. “And I am your mayor: Mayor Sheng Thao.”

Fox News Digital’s Timothy H.J. Nerozzi and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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