Senate Democrats Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have asked the FBI for an immediate assessment of the national security risks at Donald Trump’s properties.
The Senators want an FBI investigation into the security risks at Mar-a-Lago
In a letter provided to PoliticusUSA, the Senators wrote to FBI Director Wray:
We write regarding the arrest of Yujin Zhang, a Chinese national who was apprehended by Secret Service after she allegedly made false statements to bypass security at Mar-a-Lago while carrying multiple electronic devices and a thumb drive containing malicious malware.
According to the information provided in the criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Ms. Zhang was allowed access to the property after security staff employed at Mar-a-Lago believed her to be a relative of a member of the club. After she passed into a restricted area and was eventually questioned by a receptionist, Ms. Zhang stated that she had been invited to Mar-a-Lago to attend a non-existent United Nations Chinese American Association event by an apparent associate of Li “Cindy” Yang, who had reportedly promoted events at the club on Chinese-language social media.
On March 15th, senior members of the congressional intelligence and judiciary committees asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct criminal and counterintelligence investigations into credible allegations of potential human trafficking, unlawful foreign lobbying and other activities by Ms. Yang as well as an assessment of the risks or related concerns associated with any interactions between her and the President. While this request came after Ms. Yang was photographed with the President and reports that she created a business that attempted to sell access to the President and his family to clients in China, Congress has not yet received a response.
This latest incident raises very serious questions regarding security vulnerabilities at Mar-a-Lago, which foreign intelligence services have reportedly targeted. The apparent ease with which Ms. Zhang gained access to the facility during the President’s weekend visit raises concerns about the system for screening visitors, including the reliance on determinations made by Mar-a-Lago employees. As the White House Communications Agency and Secret Service coordinate to establish several secure areas at Mar-a-Lago for handling classified information when the President travels there, these potential vulnerabilities have serious national security implications.
Accordingly, we ask that the FBI, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, assess the risks at Mar-a-Lago posed by establishment of areas for classified information at facility accessible to the public and foreign nationals. We also ask that you determine, in consultation with the Secret Service, the steps needed to detect and deter adversary governments or their agents from attempting to gain access to or conduct electronic surveillance or acquire material at Mar-a-Lago or President Trump’s other properties.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We ask that you provide Congress with a written response to this letter as well as the questions related to Ms. Yang that were enumerated in the March 15th letter without delay.
The House could cut off funding for Trump’s vacations
House Democrats have the ability to pass restrictions that would prohibit federal funds from being spent at Trump properties. Democrats have been interested in Trump’s vacation travel since before they took back the majority, and there is an active investigation into the president’s travel.
It is difficult to see how Mar-a-Lago can be made secure if guests and members are allowed to come and go while the president is there.
The most secure solution would be for Trump to stop going to his private club, and now Democrats may have a reason to cut off Trump’s for-profit off the taxpayers’ dime vacations.
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