Mar-a-Lago arrest spotlights security risks at Trump estate

Posted April 07, 2019

And on Wednesday, some Congressional Democrats wrote to the Federal Bureau of Investigation demanding answers.

Later, when questioned by another Secret Service officer, she said she was due to attend a "United Nations Friendship Event", though further inquiries revealed that there was no such event scheduled to take place at Mar-a-Lago, an affidavit filed by federal investigators for the Southern District Court of Florida said.

Upon questioning, Zhang referred to a person named "Charles" as the contact who had invited her to the club.

Yang's massage parlor business attracted worldwide attention - and legal scrutiny - after its connections to prostitution and extremely wealthy American business owners were exposed last month, along with Yang's political fundraising on behalf of Trump's election campaigns. For the last several years, she had promoted events at Mar-a-Lago in an effort to provide Chinese business executives with access to the club and a chance to mingle with Trump, his family and advisers, the Herald reports.

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"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", the senators wrote, suggesting Zhang's success in getting inside the compound had "serious national security implications".

The President was off the property at the time of the incident.

As palm trees swayed in the ocean breeze, Yujing Zhang approached Secret Service agents in the Mar-a-Lago parking lot.

Warren, who is also a presidential candidate, and Lynch asked whether the Secret Service is "appropriately notified" by the White House about people who want to meet with Trump at Mar-a-Lago and elsewhere; whether it is able to conduct "appropriate background checks" on those with access to Trump; and if it has "recommended against granting any of these individuals" with access.

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When she was arrested, Zhang claimed she was at Mar-a-Lago for a social event. Likewise, the White House has denied Trump knows Yang at all.

The newspaper said the ongoing investigation also has focused on Li "Cindy" Yang, a South Florida massage parlor entrepreneur.

When she became aggressive under questioning, she was detained by the Secret Service and later charged with making false statements and entering a restricted area.

In a March 15 letter to Wray, the top Democrats on the House and Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committees asked the FBI to investigate whether Yang had used her connections to Trump and his club to facilitate business opportunities for Chinese executives.

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A source familiar with Trump administration policy on China said the department was part of the Communist Party's Central Committee operation in Beijing, located "right across" from the compound which houses Chinese leaders.