pcloudy.png
Sunday July 21st, 2019 3:13PM

Chinese woman who entered Mar-a-Lago seeks bail

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Chinese woman charged with lying to illegally enter President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club while carrying computer malware could be granted bail Monday, though she likely would not be released as her visa has been revoked.

Federal Magistrate Judge William Matthewman will decide whether to grant bail to Yujing Zhang, 32, on charges of lying to Secret Service agents and illegally entering a restricted area. If he does, immigration officials would likely detain her if she posts it because without a visa she has no authorization to be in the country. Zhang faces up to five years if convicted.

Zhang was arrested March 30 after Secret Service agents say she lied to gain access to the president's exclusive club. She carried two passports, four cellphones, a laptop, an external hard drive and a thumb drive carrying computer malware, agents said. In a later check of her hotel room, agents say, they found a device for detecting hidden cameras, more computer gear, $8,000 in cash and numerous debit and credit cards. She is not charged with espionage, but the FBI is still investigating. Her bail hearing began last week, but was adjourned to give her public defenders additional time to make a case for her release.

The Secret Service says Zhang gained access by telling an agent outside Mar-a-Lago that she was a member arriving for a swim. Agents say she wasn't on the membership list, but a club manager thought Zhang might be a member's daughter -- about 7% of Chinese nationals are named Zhang, that country's third-most common surname. Agents then asked Zhang if the member was her father, but they say she did not answer definitively. They still admitted her.

Zhang's story changed when she got inside, agents say, telling a front desk receptionist she was there to attend the United Nations Chinese American Association event scheduled for that evening. No such event was scheduled and agents were summoned. They say she became confrontational, so she was taken off the property and then to the local Secret Service office, undergoing about nine hours of questioning. She had arrived in the U.S. two days earlier on a flight from Shanghai to Newark, New Jersey.

Her public defender, Robert Adler, suggested during last week's hearing that Zhang may not have been lying but confused by the language barrier. But a Secret Service agent wrote in court documents that during questioning Zhang read and spoke English very well.

A Secret Service agent told Matthewman last week that when an agency analyst uploaded the malware found on Zhang's thumb drive, it immediately began installing and corrupting his computer's files. The Secret Service says when such tests are conducted the computer is not on any network, so no damage was done. Government analysts were still trying to determine the malware's purpose.

Adler said wire records show Zhang paid $20,000 in February to Charles Lee, a Chinese national, for admission to the event. Lee ran the United Nations Chinese Friendship Association and was photographed at least twice with Cindy Yang, a Republican donor and former Florida massage parlor owner. She recently made news after it was learned she was promising Chinese business leaders that her consulting firm could get them access to Mar-a-Lago and mingle with the president.

Yang previously owned a spa where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged with soliciting prostitution. Kraft has pleaded not guilty but has also apologized for his conduct.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
France's Macron to respond to yellow vest economic crisis
French President Emmanuel Macron will be laying out his responses to the yellow vest crisis after three months of a national debate that aimed to encourage ordinary people to propose changes to France's economy and democracy
11:51AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Chinese woman who entered Mar-a-Lago seeks bail
A Chinese woman charged with lying to illegally enter President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club while carrying computer malware could be granted bail
11:46AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Unions urge Democrats to focus on kitchen table economics
Some people in the labor movement are expressing concerns about whether 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are focused on the issues they care most about, such as kitchen table economics
11:46AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
In 'FUCT' fashion brand case, justices avoid saying word
In 'FUCT' fashion brand case, justices avoid saying the word
11:33AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Memorial at Nixon Library for Ed Nixon, president's brother
About 200 people gathered at a Southern California memorial service for Ed Nixon, the younger brother of President Richard Nixon, who died in February at age 88
11:19AM ( 46 minutes ago )
Charges dropped against woman accused of assaulting Conway
Prosecutors have dropped a criminal case against a Maryland woman who was charged with assaulting White House counselor Kellyanne Conway during a confrontation last year at a restaurant in a Washington suburb
11:13AM ( 52 minutes ago )
AP National News
Runners gear up for another wet Boston Marathon
Runners are trying to stay dry as they await the start of the 2019 Boston Marathon
9:29AM ( 2 hours ago )
Questions over coverage plague rural broadband expansion
A $4.5 billion federal grant program to improve broadband internet access in rural America has been stymied by flawed maps, and a group of U.S. senators is pushing to make sure the government knows where help is needed the most
9:22AM ( 2 hours ago )
100-year-old yoga instructor keeps moving, dancing
A 100-year-old yoga instructor has no plans to stop practicing and teaching
8:39AM ( 3 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
France's Macron to respond to yellow vest economic crisis
French President Emmanuel Macron will be laying out his responses to the yellow vest crisis after three months of a national debate that aimed to encourage ordinary people to propose changes to France's economy and democracy
11:51AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Unions urge Democrats to focus on kitchen table economics
Some people in the labor movement are expressing concerns about whether 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are focused on the issues they care most about, such as kitchen table economics
11:46AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Kerrey decides not to speak at Jesuit college's ceremonies
Former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey says he has decided not to address graduates and their families at a Jesuit college in Omaha because he doesn't want his support for abortion rights to be a distraction
11:45AM ( 20 minutes ago )
US measles count up to 555, with most new cases in New York
US measles cases have surged again, and at this pace will set a record for most illnesses in 25 years
11:43AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Prosecutors ask Peru judge to keep ex-president behind bars
Prosecutors in Peru are asking a judge to keep former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski behind bars as he is investigated for suspected money laundering related to Latin America's biggest graft scandal
11:41AM ( 24 minutes ago )