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Oakland Mayor denounces foes following FBI raid on her home

An image of Sheng Thao speaking about the FBI raid at a press conference
Christopher Alam
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao giving her first public address following the FBI raid on her home.

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao proclaimed her innocence today in her first public appearance since the FBI raided her home last week.

In a passionate address, Thao questioned the timing and probable cause.

She expressed anger at the “handful of billionaires from San Francisco and Piedmont” spearheading her recall.

“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 this warrant.”

She says she is seeking answers from the US attorney about why she was not given the opportunity to cooperate voluntarily.

Thao’s lawyer claimed that his client was not a target of the raid, which is allegedly linked to the owners of a local waste management company with multi-million dollar recycling contracts with the city. The FBI has not made no comment on the raid.

Thao also says she is being targeted because of her origins outside of the wealthy elite class.

“But what I do know is that this wouldn’t have gone down the way it did if I was rich. … I know that for sure because other former elected officials are sitting safely in their houses in the hills right now with campaign finance violations piling up…”

She did not take any questions, per the advice of her attorney.

Following the press conference, a small group of recall supporters, including Seneca Scott, held their own rally outside City Hall.

They denied Thao’s allegations that they are funded by right-wing donors from outside Oakland… and called for the mayor to resign.

Christopher Alam is a writer, producer, and journalist based in San Francisco.