Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

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Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

#1

Post by Addie » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:10 pm

Speaker.gov (Press Release)
Joint Statement On Bicameral Request For Criminal And Counterintelligence Investigations Into Li “Cindy” Yang

March 18, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Today, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer released the following statement after House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner, and Senate Committee on the Judiciary Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein sent a letter to the FBI, national intelligence agencies, and Secret Service requesting criminal and counterintelligence investigations into Li “Cindy” Yang.

“The facts in this situation are very concerning, and we urge Director Wray to adhere to the joint bicameral requests of the Democratic Senate ranking members and Democratic House chairmen and start an investigation.”
Democrats.senate.gov: Letter PDF

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Re: Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

#2

Post by Addie » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:18 pm

The Economist - March 14
Mar-a-Lago, massage parlours and selling access to the president

The Trump administration collects chancers, influence peddlers—maybe worse


EVER SINCE diners at Mar-a-Lago snapped pictures of President Donald Trump plotting America’s response to a North Korean missile test with his Japanese counterpart, there have been national-security concerns about the president’s “Winter White House”. Yet reports about a Mar-a-Lago frequenter called Li Yang, who also goes by Cindy Yang, suggest they underestimated the risks of Mr Trump’s freewheeling style. Bearing all the hallmarks of a Trump scandal, the revelations from the Miami Herald, Mother Jones and others are salacious, worrying and bizarre.

Ms Yang, a 45-year-old entrepreneur and immigrant from China, and her family have founded massage parlours across Florida. Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, was charged last month with soliciting oral sex in one of them, Orchids of Asia, which the Yang family no longer owned. Mr Kraft is a longtime Trump pal; coincidentally, Ms Yang recently launched a business peddling access to the president and other Republican politicians to Chinese investors. Indeed, she was snapped alongside Mr Trump at a Super Bowl party in Mar-a-Lago, at which the president was supporting Mr Kraft’s team. ...

According to the Herald, she had no involvement in politics before the 2016 election; she had not voted for a decade. Yet she suddenly became a fixture at high-level Republican events. Her Facebook page is filled with photos of Ms Yang alongside the president, his two sons, Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, and other senior Republicans. She and her relatives donated $58,000 to the president’s campaign and a related political action committee. And her efforts appear to have secured some of the influence her company, GY US Investments, claims to have. Last year she was invited by the White House to take part in an event organised by Mr Trump’s Asian-American and Pacific-Islander Initiative. The Herald also reports that she arranged for Chinese businessmen to attend an exclusive Trump fund-raiser in Manhattan. It is not clear whether this amounts to an embarrassing mess or a serious security breach. Either way, it stinks.

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Re: Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

#3

Post by Addie » Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:53 pm

Politico
Cummings demands briefing after Mar-a-Lago arrest of Chinese woman

House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings has demanded a briefing from the Secret Service about security at Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s exclusive resort, following the arrest this weekend of a Chinese woman who gained access to the club.

The woman, Yujing Zhang, was carrying two passports, multiple cellphones and a thumb drive loaded with malicious software when she was detained, according to a complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida.

The court filing said Zhang was trying to gain entry to an event advertised on Chinese-language social media by Li "Cindy" Yang, a Florida massage parlor owner and Trump donor who offered clients access to the president and his family. Yang's interactions with Trump came to light after a massage parlor she founded was tied to a prostitution and sex-trafficking operation. Democrats recently asked for an FBI criminal and counterintelligence investigation into Yang's interactions with Trump.

Cummings said he wants to know how the Secret Service is protecting Trump and the first family when they’re at Mar-a-Lago, and who is gaining access to the president.

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Re: Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

#4

Post by Addie » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:05 am

Quartz: Why Mar-a-Lago is vulnerable to foreign espionage, according to ex-spies ...

David Weinstein, a Miami defense attorney and former federal prosecutor, told the Miami Herald that Zhang’s alleged crime would have only been considered a simple trespass if Trump hadn’t been there.

Zhang is charged with making false statements to federal agents and unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds. The charges carry potential five-year and one-year prison terms, and $250,000 and $100,000 fines, respectively.

Experts say the incident highlights the ease with which an enemy agent could use Mar-a-Lago as a conduit to get intelligence on the US.

“Foreign countries aren’t stupid,” former CIA analyst Cindy Otis tells Quartz. “They send officials to stay at Trump hotels for a reason. They know that he does not care about [operational security] and that he speaks openly and loudly about government issues wherever he goes, so foreign intelligence services are going to look for ways to monitor those conversations, either by gaining physical access for through electronic means.”

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Re: Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

#5

Post by Whatever4 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:51 pm

My first thought on seeing the story was the Sandra Bullock movie The Net. After a convoluted plot, her character goes to a convention at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and uploads a disc with a virus on it to the Evil Corporation’s mainframe.

Hmmm... that also happened in Independence Day. Upload virus, disable Evil Bad Guys. :think:
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Re: Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

#6

Post by Addie » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:16 am

Miami Herald
Only in Florida could a billionaire’s massage parlor pit stop unmask a possible spy ring

A full-blown spy mystery with a Florida twist is playing out at the president’s winter White House in tony Palm Beach.

A Chinese national sits in federal custody, the public face of a newly revealed FBI investigation into whether one of America’s biggest global rivals is using Donald Trump’s eagerness to sell access to himself at his own private club to its advantage. Yujing Zhang, who the Secret Service says was caught slinking around Mar-a-Lago last weekend with four cell phones, waffling explanations for her presence and a thumb drive loaded with “malicious malware,” could be anything from an unwitting businesswoman to a linchpin in an international intelligence operation. ...

“What the Trump presidency has normalized in American culture is the abnormal. The abnormal is routine. The illegitimate is the currency of the realm,” said Fernand Amandi, a Democatic Miami pollster and host of the “Strange Days” podcast, which often revolves around the latest White House controversy. “You might say Donald Trump is the national consciousness manifestation of Florida Man.”

But, as Amandi notes, while the story around Yang and Zhang might feel absurd and over-the-top, the underlying concerns being investigated by the federal government could be profound. On Wednesday, Senate Democrats Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein and Mark Warner wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray to ask for a risk assessment of classified information at the president’s resort, and to remind Wray that they hadn’t heard back from the FBI on a request to look into “concerns associated with any interactions between [Cindy Yang] and the president.”

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Re: Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

#7

Post by listeme » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:21 pm

Whatever4 wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:51 pm
My first thought on seeing the story was the Sandra Bullock movie The Net. After a convoluted plot, her character goes to a convention at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and uploads a disc with a virus on it to the Evil Corporation’s mainframe.

Hmmm... that also happened in Independence Day. Upload virus, disable Evil Bad Guys. :think:
I know some kiddie hacker types, I'll get on it.
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Re: Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

#8

Post by Volkonski » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:48 pm


Curtis Houck

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7m7 minutes ago
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Video: This is bonkers. @CNN's @ShimonPro updating on what was found in the hotel of the Chinese woman who just wanted to use the pool or whatever at Mar-A-Lago -> Over $7,500 in $100 bills, nine USB drives, five sim cards, and a signal detector used to find hidden cameras
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Re: Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

#9

Post by Addie » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:14 pm

Talking Points Memo
Schumer Wants Ousted Secret Service Chief To Testify On Mar-A-Lago ‘Vulnerabilities’

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Monday called for ousted Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles to testify before Congress concerning what Schumer called “potential security vulnerabilities” at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club “and other counterintelligence and national security threats.”

Read Schumer’s statement below:
“The outgoing Secret Service director must testify before Congress as soon as possible about the potential security vulnerabilities at Mar-a-Lago involving a Chinese national arrested with malware, and other counterintelligence and national security threats. The public and Congress need to know the extent to which adversarial governments – like China – and their agents are attempting to gain access to, or conduct electronic surveillance on, conversations or other information regarding national security at President Trump’s properties.”

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Re: Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

#10

Post by Somerset » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:39 pm

Volkonski wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:48 pm
Curtis Houck

Verified account

@CurtisHouck
7m7 minutes ago
More
Video: This is bonkers. @CNN's @ShimonPro updating on what was found in the hotel of the Chinese woman who just wanted to use the pool or whatever at Mar-A-Lago -> Over $7,500 in $100 bills, nine USB drives, five sim cards, and a signal detector used to find hidden cameras
Five SIM cards doesn't raise a flag with me, nor does $7,500 in cash nor multiple thumb drives. It's pretty common for rich Chinese to carry around a lot of cash. I have usually have five SIM cards when I travel (US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines and China) and maybe one for Thailand or Malaysia if I'm going there too (there's a reason dual SIM phones are so popular in Asia ;) ). I also usually have at least three or four thumb drives in my backpack (if nothing else, I might collect a few from a trade show). Nine is a bit much, but also not completely unexpected. As for the malware, it might be something or it might be just someone who readily clicks on clickbait. I've got family members who click on every game link that shows up on their computer and any thumb drive that's been in their computer is infected with something.

Even the signal detector might be somewhat less nefarious than it seems. You can easily buy these on Taobao, and folks in China tend to be a little paranoid about security. My apartments in Shenzhen all had video security systems with police panic buttons* and multiple door locks, even though it was a guarded community and very safe. Carrying a bug scanner while traveling doesn't really surprise me.

I''m not saying this person isn't a spy, but it wouldn't surprise me if it turns out she was just an aggressive opportunist hoping to meet rich/powerful people in the US.


* I accidently activated it once, trying to figure out how to open the car park door for a delivery. Everything is in Chinese, and Google Translate doesn't work in China. Great fun :thumbs:

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Re: Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

#11

Post by Mikedunford » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:53 pm

Somerset wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:39 pm
I''m not saying this person isn't a spy, but it wouldn't surprise me if it turns out she was just an aggressive opportunist hoping to meet rich/powerful people in the US.
That doesn't strike me as a mutually exclusive set of options.
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Re: Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

#12

Post by Addie » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:20 am

Ars Technica: Thumb drive carried by Mar-a-Lago intruder immediately installed files on a PC

The already suspicious breach of Secret Service security just got even more fishy.

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Re: Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

#13

Post by Addie » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:43 pm

Miami Herald
No espionage charge in indictment against Chinese intruder arrested at Mar-a-Lago

Authorities have formally charged Yujing Zhang — the Chinese woman arrested trying to enter Mar-a-Lago last month — with lying to a federal agent and entering restricted property without permission. They are the same charges as those listed against Zhang in the original criminal complaint.

The indictment, filed Friday, does not include espionage charges, despite authorities continuing to treat her case as a national-security matter, according to sources familiar with an ongoing counterintelligence investigation.

Zhang, 33, could face up to five years imprisonment for lying to a federal officer and one year for entering restricted grounds, and as much as $350,000 in fines, according to court documents.

Authorities could still choose to bring espionage charges against Zhang, a financial investor and consultant based in Shanghai. When she was arrested, she was carrying four cell phones, a computer, an external hard drive, and a thumb-drive infected with malware, according to the U.S. Secret Service. A signal detector — used for spotting hidden cameras — was found in her hotel room, along with other electronics and more than $8,000 in U.S. and Chinese currency, a federal prosecutor said during a prior court hearing.

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Re: Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

#14

Post by Addie » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:07 pm

WaPo
Woman arrested at Mar-a-Lago will remain jailed, was ‘up to something nefarious,’ judge says

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A judge here ruled Monday that a Chinese woman must remain jailed following charges that she lied to a federal officer after entering Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s resort, saying he deemed her a flight risk.

During a hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge William Matthewman appeared swayed by the argument made by federal prosecutors that Yujing Zhang — who authorities said made her way through Mar-a-Lago’s security last month before being arrested carrying multiple cellphones and other electronics — had ulterior motives in accessing the president’s club. ...

Her ability to enter Mar-a-Lago and subsequent arrest heightened questions about security at the resort frequented by the president, where members — who are also his paying customers — and guests can be in the same room as the commander in chief. Intelligence officials have suggested that foreign spies who never see Trump could still find value in a room filled with his aides and associates. ...

Before deciding that she should remain behind bars, Matthewman said: “I have not and shall not consider any political or other irrelevant issues swirling around this case.”

The indictment filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida similarly makes no mention of any espionage elements, noting only that she “knowingly” entered restricted grounds. It goes on to state that she told a Secret Service agent “she was there to attend a ‘United Nations Friendship Event,’ when in truth and in fact, and as the defendant then and there well knew, no such event was scheduled.”

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Re: Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

#15

Post by Volkonski » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:17 pm

Underwear blunder stalls trial of Chinese woman accused of trespassing at Mar-a-Lago

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/un ... d_nn_tw_ma
Before the potential jurors were brought into the courtroom, Yujing Zhang told Judge Roy Altman that she was wearing brown jail garb instead of civilian clothing because she had not been provided any underwear. Defendants generally wear civilian clothing during trials to not prejudice jurors against them.

After some discussion about which agency was supposed to provide Zhang with underwear, she was taken to a holding cell and changed into a copper-colored blouse and khaki slacks found in her hotel room after her March arrest.

Zhang is acting as her own attorney during the federal trial, much to Altman's frustration. He again tried Monday to change the 33-year-old Shanghai consultant's mind as he did during every pretrial hearing since she fired her public defenders in June and urged her to let them try the case. When he demanded that she answer yes or no, she went into a long monologue in Mandarin. Altman cut her off before it could be translated and she finally said she didn't want them.

He spoke to Zhang sternly Monday after she told him "I don't know why I am here" and said she wasn't prepared because she said she thought the trial had been cancelled.
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Re: Intelligence/Judiciary Committees: Li "Cindy" Yang, Trump Properties, Foreign Access to President

#16

Post by Slim Cognito » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:20 pm

Volkonski wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:17 pm
Underwear blunder stalls trial of Chinese woman accused of trespassing at Mar-a-Lago

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/un ... d_nn_tw_ma
Before the potential jurors were brought into the courtroom, Yujing Zhang told Judge Roy Altman that she was wearing brown jail garb instead of civilian clothing because she had not been provided any underwear. Defendants generally wear civilian clothing during trials to not prejudice jurors against them.

After some discussion about which agency was supposed to provide Zhang with underwear, she was taken to a holding cell and changed into a copper-colored blouse and khaki slacks found in her hotel room after her March arrest.

Zhang is acting as her own attorney during the federal trial, much to Altman's frustration. He again tried Monday to change the 33-year-old Shanghai consultant's mind as he did during every pretrial hearing since she fired her public defenders in June and urged her to let them try the case. When he demanded that she answer yes or no, she went into a long monologue in Mandarin. Altman cut her off before it could be translated and she finally said she didn't want them.

He spoke to Zhang sternly Monday after she told him "I don't know why I am here" and said she wasn't prepared because she said she thought the trial had been cancelled.
Sounds like the circus is in town.
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