It seems any kind of connection to Donald Trump can land you at the losing end of a costly and emotionally taxing investigation.
It started with the highly publicized arrest of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft for soliciting prostitution at a Florida day spa. Almost unbelievably, that arrest of a prominent Trump supporter has resulted in Democrats calling for an FBI investigation into the life of another Republican donor very distantly connected.
Cindy Yang, a naturalized American citizen, arrived from China 20 years ago and is an enthusiastic Trump supporter and GOP financial supporter. She was the entrepreneurial founder of that spa as well as a whole chain of Asian day spas. She sold the spa relating to the Kraft arrest seven years earlier and has repeatedly denied doing anything wrong.
Deceptive headline links Trump to scandal of Robert Kraft’s arrest, but details tell another story https://t.co/XDDVyhTHhU
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) March 8, 2019
However on Friday, some Democrats sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray pointing recent reports about a consulting firm owned by Yang that “raise serious counterintelligence concerns.”
Yang’s firm, called GY US Investments LLC, was reported by Mother Jones to promote itself, according to the firm’s website as:
“(A)n international business consulting firm that provides public relations services to assist businesses in America to establish and expand their brand image in the modern Chinese marketplace.
Mother Jones wrote, “But the firm notes that its services also address clients looking to make high-level connections in the United States. On a page displaying a photo of Mar-a-Lago, Yang’s company says its ‘activities for clients’ have included providing them ‘the opportunity to interact with the president, the [American] Minister of Commerce and other political figures.’ The company boasts it has ‘arranged taking photos with the President’ and suggests it can set up a ‘White House and Capitol Hill Dinner.’
Federal records show that Yang and her family have contributed more than $40,000 to Trump and Republican organizations since 2017. Her websites showed images of Yang posing with the president as well as with members of his family.
The letter to Wray said in part: “Although Ms. Yang’s activities may only be those of an unscrupulous actor allegedly selling access to politicians for profit, her activities also 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 asks 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.”
The democratic authors of the letter request answers to several questions about law enforcement’s knowledge of Yang prior to the media reports and about Yang’s interactions with Trump and others in the administration. The letter was signed by Mark Warner, D-Va., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.
The attorney for Yang, Michelle Merson, said last week that her client is living through a nightmare after the media has been implying that she is connected to the alleged prostitution and that she could be a national security threat in connection with political access peddling. Merson said both accusations are “far from the truth.”
Another attorney representing Yang, Evan Turk, later released a statement calling the allegations about Yang abhorrent. “At this time, the evidence indicates that our client has been falsely accused in a manner that she may never recover from. Her name, her reputation and her honor have been destroyed. Cindy Yang seems to be another casualty, as a supporter of our president.”
Merson said that although she strongly supports Trump and “making America great, Yang is not a friend of the president and had only taken photos with him, like many other Mar-a-Lago attendees.” She indicated that Yang would cooperate with an investigation if it would help clear her name.
In an NBC News interview with Cynthia McFadden, when asked about general concerns about Chinese spying, Yang stated, “I’m an American citizen. I’m not a Chinese citizen.”
Yang told NBC News that it all comes down to prejudice. “I’ve done nothing wrong. I’m Republican and I’m Chinese,” she said. “That’s the reason the Democrats want to check me.”
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