Federal investigators have probed City Comptroller John Liu's campaign for more than two years. After court documents revealed that the comptroller's phone was tapped, leaders in Chinatown say the investigation has gone too far. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
Supporters of Comptroller John Liu say they've had enough.
"In Nazi Germany, people were actually killed. But there were many good citizens around," said supporter Virginia Kee. "When we stand up for justice and equality, it helps us all."
"We would like to see the harassment and persecution of John Liu stopped now," said former Rep. Major Owens.
A small number of the comptroller's supporters held a press conference in Chinatown on Monday to condemn the federal investigation of his campaign, an investigation that has lasted for more than two years and has led to the indictment of a fundraiser and his former campaign treasurer.
They say it needs to end. Tapping the comptroller's phone was the last straw.
"This is about younger generations and whether or not we as Asians can continue to be here and live in freedom," Kee said.
When asked about the probe, Liu said he doesn't question how the federal investigators do their jobs.
"I just hope all of this can be conducted as expeditiously as possible," the comptroller said Friday.
A Liu fundraiser and his former treasurer are accused of concocting a straw donor scheme to get over-the-limit campaign donations to the comptroller.
Some of the leaders at Monday's meeting are also Liu fundraisers.
"I have been John's most loyal supporter," said one. "I will support John 'til the end."
Kee, the organizer, has raised at least $15,000 dollars for Liu's 2013 campaign. She said the comptroller was not asked to attend Monday's event.
The small and highly unusual meeting of community leaders is not the only show of support for the comptroller's campaign lately.
Gerald Lefcourt, the lawyer for Liu's former treasurer, confirmed he also set up a legal defense fund for her.
"If you want to know where you can donate, you can call me," Lefcourt said.
"I hope there is even more support for Jenny because she is a really great person," Liu said Friday.
Liu said he is not involved in fundraising for his former treasurer.