Dems Ask FBI to Investigate Massage Parlor Owner Who Was Selling Access to Trump

“These allegations raise serious counterintelligence concerns.”

Yang, right, attends the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Top Democrats on four congressional committees have asked the FBI investigate the activities of Cindy Yang, the massage parlor owner who offered to sell Chinese business executives access to President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago. 

In a letter sent Friday, the lawmakers requested that the FBI conduct “criminal and counterintelligence investigations into credible allegations of potential human trafficking, as well as unlawful foreign lobbying, campaign finance and other activities by Ms. Yang.” They also ask the bureau to conduct an assessment of counterintelligence risks or related concerns “associated with any interactions between President Donald Trump and Ms. Yang.”

Yang previously owned a Jupiter, Florida, massage parlor where New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft later allegedly solicited prostitution, a connection that gained notice after Yang snapped a selfie with Trump at a Super Bowl party at Mar-a-Lago last month. The Miami Herald reported that other massage parlors Yang and her family run have “gained a reputation for offering sexual services.” Yang denies violating the law.

In 2017, Yang and her husband launched a business called GY US Investments LLC that offered to help clients gain access to Trump and members of his administration. On its website, the firm boasted it could arrange photos with the president along with opportunities to “interact with the president, the Minister of Commerce and other political figures.” Yang also arranged for a group of Chinese executives to attend a Trump fundraiser in New York in December 2017.

“If true, these allegations raise serious counterintelligence concerns,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter, which they sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Secret Service Director Randolph Alles, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. “China has frequently used non-traditional intelligence collectors and businesspersons to compromise targets.” 

“Although Ms. Yang’s activities may only be those of an unscrupulous actor allegedly selling access to politicians for profit, her 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,” the letter warned.

The letter was sent by Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the chairmen of the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, and by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Democrats on the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also weighed in with a statement Monday afternoon. “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,” Pelosi and Schumer said.

An FBI spokeswoman said Monday that the bureau had no comment on the Democrats’ letter. A law firm representing Yang did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday. A spokeswoman for the firm, Palm Beach Law Offices, previously said it would decline all requests for comment from Mother Jones.

On Monday afternoon, watchdog group Common Cause filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice, asking for investigations into Yang and whether she operated a “straw donor” scheme to funnel illegal donations to Trump.

This article has been updated.

Read Democrats’ letter:



 

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.