Federal authorities are investigating possible Chinese intelligence operations targeting President Donald Trump and his private Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago, sources familiar with the never-before-reported investigation told the Miami Herald Wednesday.
The federal counterintelligence probe was turbo-charged on Saturday when U.S. Secret Service agents arrested a Chinese woman, Yujing Zhang, after they said she tried to enter the club with a bevy of electronic devices, including a thumb drive infected with “malicious malware.”
The ongoing investigation has also recently focused on Li “Cindy” Yang, the sources told the Herald. Yang is a South Florida massage parlor entrepreneur who has promoted events at Mar-a-Lago with ads targeting Chinese business executives hoping to gain access to Trump and his family. The investigation — spearheaded by the FBI — began before the Herald revealed Yang’s business of selling access last month and focused on other Chinese nationals doing business in the region.
Before her arrest, Zhang was unknown to federal authorities. Now, investigators with the FBI Counterintelligence Division in South Florida are trying to figure out who Zhang is, whether she is involved in a possible Chinese intelligence mission and whether there are links to Yang’s social events at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.