Chinese influence

Dems demand FBI probe into ex-spa owner selling Chinese access to Trump

Nancy Pelosi speaks, with Adam Schiff, Chuck Schumer, Jerry Nadler, and Dianne Feinstein behind her.
Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Chuck Schumer, Jerry Nadler and Dianne Feinstein. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Top Democrats in both the Senate and House have asked the FBI to launch criminal and counterintelligence investigations into "credible allegations of potential human trafficking, as well as unlawful foreign lobbying, campaign finance and other activities" by Li "Cindy" Yang, the founder of a chain of Florida massage parlors, NBC News reports.

The big picture: Yang, a Trump donor who was photographed with the president at a Super Bowl party last month, runs an investment firm believed to have been selling White House access to clients in China. She is a member of the "Florida Association for China Unification" — part of a global network of pro-government groups backed by the Chinese Communist Party. In their letter, the Democrats note that "China has frequently used non-traditional intelligence collectors and businesspersons to compromise targets."

U.S. threatens to restrict intelligence sharing with Germany over Huawei

Angela Merkel looks skeptical.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration informed the German government on Friday that it would curtail intelligence-sharing if Berlin allowed Huawei to participate in building the country's 5G network, WSJ reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. has been pushing allies to bar Huawei and other Chinese vendors from building out their 5G networks over concerns that these companies would facilitate Chinese spying, though this is the first time it has delivered a formal warning.

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