Would anyone be surprised that Donald Trump accepted money from foreign nationals for his presidential campaign? Is anyone surprised that a former Chinese-born massage parlor owner thought it would be a good idea to charge Chinese nationals big bucks for visits to Mar-a-Lago? Once they are there, they could rub shoulders with the Trump family members, and maybe even the president. Then, things went bad.
Li “Cindy” Yang was paid by wealthy Chinese to get tickets to a Republican National Committee event. Then, a campaign finance watchdog filed a complaint with the FEC (Federal Election Commission) to report her.
According to The Miami Herald, that was strictly “illegal:”
‘…it is illegal for foreign nationals — people who do not hold U.S. citizenship or a green card — to contribute to an American political campaign. Foreign nationals can attend fundraisers as guests so long as they do not reimburse the person who paid for their entry.’
Yang sold tickets to a minimum of eight Chinese clients to attend Trump events of one kind or another. Five of those individuals donated proceeds to Trump Victory. This is the committee that has been raising money to re-elect the man who occasionally sits in the Oval Office. Two of those fundraisers were held at Mar-a-Lago.
The Miami Herald broke a story that Yang was:
‘Using Chinese-language social media to advertise ticket sales for events at Mar-a-Lago to Chinese business executives, and had been photographed several times with Trump and other leading Republican politicians. She promoted the GOP fundraisers and charity galas at Mar-a-Lago as ways to meet the president, his family and his advisers. The phenomenon was dubbed ”Trump Tourism.”’
Based upon that, the intelligence community became concerned that Yang was illegally funneling foreign money into the Trump campaign funds.
An official from Trump Victory commented that:
‘Trump Victory makes every effort possible to ensure that all contributions are made in accordance with the law. While we can’t comment on any possible ongoing investigations, of course our committee would comply with any request from law enforcement to ensure all contributions are made legally.’
A West Palm Beach federal grand jury issued a subpoena for Mar-a-Lago to turn in:
“…all documents, records and communications relating to Yang, as well as 11 other people, one charity and seven companies affiliated with her.”
An anonymous source told the Miami Herald that those individuals who had been subpoenaed included members of Yang’s family, some Trump Victor donors, and even some former massage parlor employees.
The second subpoena went to Trump Victory via several D.C. attorneys in one law firm. The subpoena sought campaign finance records related to Yang and those affiliated with her.
The FBI has been working with the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Public Integrity Section in Washington. Although the Robert Mueller investigation has concluded, there may be plenty of interest in the Chinese money and foreign influence in the 2020 presidential election.
Separately, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Miami Office has been investigating potential Chinese espionage ops at Mar-a-Lago.