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Foreign influence extends beyond Russia

Foreign influence extends beyond Russia

March 16th, 2019 by New York Daily News in Opinion Columns

Russia's not the only foreign power seeking a foothold in Trump World.

Meet Li "Cindy" Yang. Mother Jones just reported that she—the founder of the chain of Florida spas, including the one New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft allegedly visited for you-know-what—is not only a big-money GOP donor, but runs a company that boasts of offering access to the Trump administration to Chinese nationals.

It's completely legal for Yang, an American, to contribute to political parties and campaigns, as she has done handsomely since 2017. But it is illegal for foreigners to do the same, or for her to act as their conduit by giving donations, then getting reimbursed.

Raising more alarms, Mother Jones also reports that Yang "is an officer of two groups with ties to China's Communist government."

There is a bipartisan history here. Justice Department and congressional investigations found lots of cash from Chinese nationals making it into Democratic and Republican accounts back in 1996. It was eventually returned.

President Trump's habits have made it a heyday for influence-buyers.

His involvement in his resorts and hotel business (and frequent trips to Mar-a-Lago, Yang's stomping ground), has already sparked more than one investigation into potential violations of the Constitution's emoluments clause.

The doors are wide open. Shut them, and turn the lock.

 

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