COURT SKETCH: WILLIAM HENNESSY. Yujing Zhang, the Chinese woman who was arrested for illegally entering the president's Mar-a-Lago resort, appeared in court Monday.
Yujing Zhang was arrested in March for lying to Secret Service agents at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, to gain access to the private club. According to investigators, the 32-year-old Chinese national had malware on her person, and behaved more like a bumbling spy than anything else. So who is she?
Looks like we're about to find out.
“Yujing Zhang appeared in West Palm Beach court, after having been arrested March 30 for illegally entering Trump’s resort and lying to a Secret Service agent,” reports Jonathan Levin at Bloomberg News. “She may be formally indicted as early as this week, prosecutors said.”
According to the feds, at the moment she was caught lying to Secret Service agents in March, Yujing Zhang was carrying on her person:
• Two Chinese passports
• Four (4!) cellphones
• One laptop
• One external hard drive
• One USB thumb drive containing malware.
• She had no swimsuit.
The Secret Service agents apparently believed her. She briefly gained access to the club during the President's visit there that weekend.
Excerpt from the new Bloomberg story:
In addition to the electronics she carried into the resort, Zhang also had a signal detector, five SIM cards and more than $7,600 in U.S. currency in her room at the Colony Palm Beach hotel, about two miles north of Mar-a-Lago, Garcia said. A signal detector is used to detect hidden video or audio-recording devices.
Garcia noted that Zhang isn’t facing espionage or related charges at this time, but the government continues to look into that possibility.
Zhang entered the courtroom in handcuffs, wearing a navy blue prison-issued jump suit. She took notes during the hearing.
Her lawyer, public defender Robert Adler, said there were innocent explanations for many of the allegations, including having two passports. Zhang’s valid U.S. visa was stamped in an expired passport, which she needed to carry in addition to her valid passport, Adler said.
She also showed all the electronics she carried when entering the resort, including when she went through a metal detector, Adler said. And he questioned the Secret Service’s allegation that the USB drive was infected with malware.
Secret Service agent Samuel Ivanovich testified Monday that another agent put the USB drive into his computer and it immediately began to install files. The agent shut down the computer to prevent a possible infection, but Ivanovich couldn’t identify the malware. The device is still being analyzed, Ivanovich said.
Get a load of her everyday carry!
And what was a federal agent doing, testing out her likely malware on a government computer that wasn't airgapped?
More: Chinese Intruder at Mar-a-Lago to Stay in Jail Another Week [www.bloomberg.com]