US Secret Service agents arrested a Chinese woman last week at President Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago resort. The woman, a Chinese citizen, lied to investigators and had a thumb drive containing malware in her possession at the time of her arrest.
According to a criminal complaint filed on Monday, Yujing Zhang, 32, was arrested over the weekend, on March 30. President Trump was at Mar-a-Lago during her arrest but did not meet or interact with her.
Suspect lied to enter resort’s premises
Court documents say Zhang entered the resort’s premises after tricking a Secret Service agent and a hotel staff member that she was going to the pool.
The Secret Service agent and the hotel staff member cited a language barrier in identifying Zhang’s real identity, and the hotel staff member gave the go-ahead to let the suspect in after misidentifying her as the relative of another Mar-a-Lago member.
Zhang was eventually detained at the resort’s main reception, where she told the receptionist she was there to attend an event organized by the United Nations Chinese American Association –an event that was never scheduled to take place.
Secret Service agents arrested Zhang after she told one agent “she came to Mar-a-Lago early for the event so she could familiarize herself with the property and take pictures.”
When asked to present the invitation for this non-existent event, Zhang produced documents written in Chinese. She was detained, taken off the Mar-a-Lago property, and later questioned.
During the interrogation, Zhang told Secret Service agents she was invited to the Mar-a-Lago event by a Chinese friend named “Charles” who she met on WeChat.
“Charles” allegedly told Zhang to attempt to speak with a member of the President’s family about Chinese and American foreign economic relations.
Suspect owned two passports, four phones, and a thumb drive with malware
Secret Service agents found two Chinese passwords in her possession, along with four smartphones and a thumb drive containing malware. Court documents don’t detail what kind of malware was found on the thumb drive.
While initially Zhang mimicked a language barrier, during subsequent conversations at the resort’s reception and during her interrogation, agents found that the suspect conversed fluently in English. She also became verbally abusive with the agents.
At this point, US authorities arrested Zhang for lying to Secret Service agents about the purpose of her visit to the Mar-a-Lago resort and her knowledge of the English language, and for unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds.
Zhang is currently in the custody of Palm Beach police.
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