- The Chinese woman arrested on March 30 while attempting to gain access to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort had a signal detector, which is used to discover hidden cameras, and thousands of dollars in cash in her hotel room, prosecutors said on Monday.
- The woman, Yujing Zhang, was carrying a USB drive with “malicious malware” on it, four mobile phones, a laptop, and a hard drive when she was arrested at Trump’s Palm Beach resort, according to prosecutors.
- Prosecutors also said Zhang, who is suspected of being a Chinese spy, “lies to everyone she encounters.”
The Chinese woman arrested on March 30 while attempting to gain entry to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort had a signal detector, which is used to discover hidden cameras, and $8,000 in cash in her hotel room, prosecutors said in court on Monday.
The woman, Yujing Zhang, was found carrying a USB drive with “malicious malware” on it, four mobile phones, a laptop, and a hard drive when she was arrested at Trump’s Palm Beach resort, law enforcement reported. In a search of her hotel room, law-enforcement officers also said they found nine USB drives and five SIM cards.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested on Friday that Zhang may be a Chinese spy. The situation has reignited concerns that the president’s club poses a national-security concern.
Zhang is facing charges for lying to law enforcement and illegally entering a restricted area, and is under investigation by the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division in South Florida for possible ties to Chinese intelligence services, according to the Miami Herald.
A federal prosecutor said on Monday that Zhang “lies to everyone she encounters.”
“The preliminary analysis of her phones shows she was not there for an event at Mar-a-Lago,” Rolando Garcia, a prosecutor, said during the Monday court hearing in West Palm Beach, Florida. The judge is set to decide whether Zhang should be released on bond.
It is still unclear what kind of malware Zhang had on her USB drive. One Secret Service agent, Samuel Ivanovich, testified on Monday that he put the thumb drive into his own computer and it began installing files in a “very out-of-the-ordinary” way. He quickly stopped his analysis of the drive.
Zhang, 32, gained entry to the resort after showing her passports to Secret Service agents and telling them she was a member of the club who wanted to use the pool.
She reportedly wasn’t on the membership list, but a club manager apparently believed her father was a member, which ultimately prompted the Secret Service agents to let her in. The agents struggled to get a clear answer out of Zhang, the report said, but chalked that up to what they interpreted as a language barrier.
After she gained entry, Zhang told a receptionist she was there to attend a “United Nations Friendship Event,” but no such event was scheduled, the Miami Herald reported.
Subsequently, agents were alerted, and they began to question Zhang, who was reportedly combative.
It has since been reported that Zhang entered the US on a tourist visa through Newark Liberty International Airport.
Ellen Cranley and John Haltiwanger contributed to this report.