Dems request probe into spa owner suspected of trying to sell access to Trump
© Getty Images

Congressional Democrats are asking federal officials to investigate allegations that a Florida businesswoman who owned massage parlors may have tried to sell access to President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE.

In a letter dated Friday, the top Democrats on the Intelligence and Judiciary committees in both chambers wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsJordan, Meadows press intelligence chief on House Intel Russia probe transcripts Overnight Energy: John Kerry hits Trump over climate change at hearing | Defends Ocasio-Cortez from GOP attacks | Dems grill EPA chief over auto emissions rollback plan Kerry goes after Trump over climate on Capitol Hill MORE and Secret Service Director Randolph Alles requesting that they "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. [Li] Yang."

ADVERTISEMENT

The letter noted that recent news reports have raised questions about whether Yang created a business “that may be selling access to the President and members of his family to clients from China.”

The letter was signed by Senate Intelligence Committee ranking member Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDems reject Barr's offer to view Mueller report with fewer redactions GOP senators divided on Trump trade pushback Hillicon Valley: Trump unveils initiatives to boost 5G | What to know about the Assange case | Pelosi warns tech of 'new era' in regulation | Dem eyes online hate speech bill MORE (D-Va.), Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDems reject Barr's offer to view Mueller report with fewer redactions Five takeaways from Mueller's report Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE (D-Calif.), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOn The Money: Cain withdraws from Fed consideration | Says he didn't want 'pay cut' | Trump sues to block subpoena for financial records | Dems plot next move in Trump tax-return battle Pelosi downplays impeachment post-Mueller report Pelosi, Dems struggle to find unity in Mueller response MORE (D-Calif.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerKlobuchar on impeachment: 'I'm the jury' Where 2020 Democratic candidates stand on impeachment Pelosi downplays impeachment post-Mueller report MORE (D-N.Y.).

Yang founded the spa where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was arrested on charges of soliciting prostitution. The businesswoman also attracted attention when the Miami Herald revealed that she had taken a photo with Trump during a Super Bowl party at his West Palm Beach country club earlier this year.

Mother Jones reported earlier this month that Yang and her husband, Zubin Gong, also founded a company called GY US Investments, whose website told potential clients about setting up opportunities to "interact with the president, the [American] Minister of Commerce and other political figures."

The same website identified her as holding a position with the Chinese Association for Science and Technology, which The Washington Post reports is linked to the Chinese Communist Party’s influence-spreading operations.

The letter from lawmakers calls for both criminal and counterintelligence investigations of Yang and requests more information on whether the agencies knew of Yang's connection to Trump before recent reports.

The letter also asks if state or federal authorities have previously investigated Yang or her business for human trafficking or prostitution, and whether any other people have used Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort to “offer foreigners access to the President, those close to him, or other senior officials in exchange for money."

The lawmakers also want to know whether the FBI, Secret Service or other intelligence agencies are able to vet foreign nationals attending events at Mar-a-Lago, more information on who attended Trump's Super Bowl party with Yang and whether she or her clients violated lobbying laws.

Updated: March 20 at 6:24 p.m.