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 Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again 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 CoatsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump targets Iran with new sanctions CNN's Jake Tapper repeatedly presses Pence on whether he thinks climate change is a threat Hillicon Valley: Tim Cook visits White House | House hearing grapples with deepfake threat | Bill, Melinda Gates launch lobbying group | Tech turns to K-Street in antitrust fight | Lawsuit poses major threat to T-Mobile, Sprint merger 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 WarnerPelosi: Congress will receive election security briefing in July Democrats leery of Sanders plan to cancel student loan debt Pressure builds to secure health care data MORE (D-Va.), Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDemocratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Negotiators face major obstacles to meeting July border deadline Young activists press for change in 2020 election MORE (D-Calif.), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate Democratic lawmaker: Mueller testimony 'doesn't have to go beyond' report to be 'really damning' for Trump 'Fox & Friends' co-host: 'I don't think' Mueller knows the details of Mueller report MORE (D-Calif.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerNadler apologized after repeatedly calling Hope Hicks 'Ms. Lewandowski' at hearing Hope Hicks: Trump campaign felt 'relief' after WikiLeaks released damaging info about Hillary Clinton House hearing marks historic moment for slavery reparations debate 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.