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FBI opens campaign finance investigation into Trump donor Cindy Yang

In this image, Trump stands at a podium and speaks into a microphone with a crowd of supporters in rows behind him.
Trump holds a rally in Panama City Beach, Florida on May 8, 2019. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The FBI has opened a campaign finance investigation into Li "Cindy" Yang, a donor to President Trump and founder of a Florida massage parlor chain caught in a human trafficking investigation, the Miami Herald reports.

Driving news: The FBI subpoenaed records this week related to a donation to Trump's 2020 campaign from an employee of Yang's massage parlors who wrote a $5,400 check, the maximum allowed under federal law, with Yang's help, as reported by the New York Times. It's unclear if that employee was reimbursed by Yang for the donation.

The backdrop: Top congressional Democrats asked the FBI to launch criminal investigations into "credible allegations of potential human trafficking, as well as unlawful foreign lobbying, campaign finance and other activities" by Yang in March. She was photographed with Trump at a Super Bowl party earlier this year and has been accused of selling access to the president.

  • As a member of the "Florida Association for China Unification," Yang is part of a global network of pro-government groups backed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Go deeper: Trump "likes" tweet connecting massage parlor owner to Mar-a-Lago