Democrats ask FBI to investigate potential connection between ex-spa owner and Trump
Li Yang also founded the chain of massage parlors in Florida that were recently raided in a prostitution and human trafficking sting that resulted in the arrest of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
The Orchids of Asia Day Spa is shown in Jupiter, Florida on Feb. 22, 2019.Joe Skipper / Reuters file
Breaking News Emails
Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
WASHINGTON — Key House and Senate Democrats have asked the FBI and director of National Intelligence to investigate ex-spa owner Li Yang and her relationship with President Donald Trump following reports that she created a business that may have sold access to the president.
Yang also founded the chain of massage parlors in Florida that were recently raided in a prostitution and human trafficking sting that resulted in the arrest of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
In a letter dated Friday, the top Democrats on the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees called on the FBI to “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.”
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
“Ms. Yang also reportedly created a business named GY US Investments that may be selling access to the President and members of his family to clients from China,” the letter said.
“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,” it continued.
The lawmakers also asked the FBI for an assessment of any “counterintelligence risks or related concerns associated with any interactions between President Donald Trump and Ms. Yang.”
The letter was signed by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., as well as their Senate counterparts who serve as ranking members on the corresponding committees, Mark Warner, D-Va., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
The Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York urged FBI Director Chris Wray in a joint statement Monday fill the requests and launch an investigation.
Rebecca Shabad is a congressional reporter for NBC News, based in Washington.
Frank Thorp V
Frank Thorp V is a producer and off-air reporter covering Congress for NBC News, managing coverage of the Senate.