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Pelosi, Schumer ‘urge’ FBI to investigate Trump’s ties to massage parlor owner
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Move over, Russia — there’s a new conspiracy theory in town. The Democrats want the FBI to investigate a Florida massage parlor owner who they are calling a potential counterintelligence threat.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) implored FBI director Christopher Wray to look into Li “Cindy” Yang’s relationship with the president following allegations from House and Senate Democrats that the former day spa owner “sold access” to President Trump and his family.
Saying the alleged activity gave foreign actors potential access to blackmail, Democrats on the House and Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Panels, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Sen. Mark Warner (D-MA), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), wrote a letter Friday to the FBI, intelligence agencies, and Secret Service asking for criminal and counter-intelligence investigations into Yang’s relationship with Trump.
Dems allege conspiracy
In the letter, Democrats riffed on a theme familiar from Russiagate: that foreign entities could acquire blackmail on the president through the service allegedly proffered by Yang. Democrats have long argued that Vladimir Putin has blackmail or “kompromat” on Trump that influences the president’s decision-making. Their letter got a boost from Pelosi and Schumer on Monday, who called the case “very concerning.”
“The facts in this situation are very concerning, and we urge Director Wray to adhere to the joint bicameral requests of the Democratic Senate ranking members and Democratic House chairmen and start an investigation,” they said Monday.
Yang is the founder of a chain of massage parlors in Florida. The House and Senate Democrats allege that Yang “sold access to Trump” through a separate business, GY US Investments, on a now-defunct website.
In their letter, House and Senate Democrats allege that Yang “offered clients ‘the opportunity to interact with the president, the [American] Minister of Commerce and other political figures” and offered to set up “White House and Capitol Hill dinners.” The four Democrats allege that Yang arranged for a group of Chinese businessmen to attend a Trump fundraiser in New York.
Yang, the letter continues, is reportedly a frequent guest at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort, has visited the White House on at least one occasion, and was photographed with the president at a Super Bowl party at his West Palm beach golf resort. Yang shared a selfie with Trump on Facebook.
The Democrats allege that Yang’s alleged activities “could permit adversary governments or their agents access to these same politicians to acquire potential material for blackmail or other even more nefarious purposes,” noting that China “has frequently used non-traditional intelligence collectors and businesspersons to compromise targets.”
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who also has a close relationship with Trump, was arrested for soliciting prostitution at an Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, which was formerly owned by Yang. The South Florida chain was raided by the FBI as part of a human trafficking sting. Kraft has denied the allegation.
Yang sold the parlor before it was raided, and she was not charged or implicated in connection with the prostitution crackdown. However, that hasn’t stopped Democrats from attempting to link her, and Trump, with the alleged prostitution. In the letter, the Democrats call for criminal investigations into “credible allegations of potential human trafficking” as well as “unlawful foreign lobbying, campaign finance and other activities by Ms. Yang” and ask for “an assessment of any counter-intelligence risks or related concerns associated with any interactions between President Donald Trump and Ms. Yang.”
The Democrats want to know whether the FBI was aware of Yang’s alleged illicit activities before the media reported them and whether there are other individuals “using Mar-A-Lago for similar purposes”, namely, “by offering foreigners access to the President.” They also want to know about the extent of Yang’s interactions with Trump and other White House officials and whether Trump took efforts to vet illicit campaign contributions through straw donors.
“We have seen the Democratic partisan letter and allegations,” Yang’s attorney, Evan W. Turk said in a statement. “Our firm will represent our client, and her interests as an American. This seems to be another politically driven fishing expedition. We will be addressing these matters when appropriate.”
The calls for an investigation come as Robert Mueller’s investigation of alleged collusion is expected to be nearing its conclusion, and unsatisfied House Democrats pick up the baton with their own sprawling investigations into Trump’s family, business, and connections.
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