Woman had device to spot cameras

Woman had device to spot cameras

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 used to discover hidden cameras and $8,000 in cash in her hotel room, prosecutors said in court on Monday.

A woman arrested at President Trump's Mar-A-Lago club last month had $8,000 in US and Chinese currency in her hotel room as well as a signal detector meant to spot hidden cameras, a federal prosecutor in Florida said Monday. She was charged with lying to Secret Service agents and entering restricted space.

Zhang, who was shackled during the hearing, did not speak other than to say "yes" in response to the judge's questions about whether she understood the proceedings.

Prosecutors argued against her release, stating she's a flight risk.

"She lies to everyone she encounters", prosecutor Rolando Garcia said.

While Trump and his White House associates have tried to downplay the security breach, CNN reports the FBI is investigating Zhang as part of a Chinese espionage operation.

The judge said he would give the defense a week to bring possible witnesses to the USA from China to bolster Zhang's argument for bail. The man told her she could attend the "United Nations Friendship Event" and possibly get the chance to talk to a member of Trump's family about economic relations between the USA and China. The criminal complaint filed by prosecutors and the Secret Service against Zhang last week highlighted how a Mar-a-Lago beach club manager erroneously thought Zhang was related to a member. Zhang entered the United States legally on a tourist visa.

In testimony before the court, a Secret Service agent said that Yujing Zhang was in possession of a thumb drive, or USB drive, containing a highly active form of malware which immediately began to install itself when plugged into the agent's computer. The agent had to immediately stop the analysis to halt any further corruption of his computer, Ivanovich testified. "This access does not afford an individual proximity to the president or other Secret Service protectees". It suggests that the agent connected the drive to the same computer used for official Secret Service work.

When she was arrested, Zhang showed agents an invitation she had received to what she described as the United Nations event. She's charged with lying to a federal agent and illegal entering. Zhang had claimed to authorities that she was at Mar-a-Lago to attend an event that day hosted by a group with a almost identical name.

As Law&Crime previously reported, Zhang was taken into federal custody after bypassing security at Mar-a-Lago during President Trump's latest visit to his so-called "Winter White House".

She went through a second Secret Service checkpoint, this one where she was screened by a magnetometer for weapons or explosives, before making her way to the club's reception area.

Initially, Mar-a-Lago employees seemed to think she might be a guest of one of the club's members, whose last name also is Zhang. President Donald Trump was in Florida at the time, but was off-site at a nearby golf course during the incident.

There is also no indication that she personally knew Cindy Yang, a Chinese native, Republican donor and former Florida massage parlor owner who made news recently after it was learned she was promising Chinese business leaders that her consulting firm could get them access to Mar-a-Lago, where they could mingle with the president. After communication with the woman proved hard due to a perceived language barrier, staff at the club became convinced she was related to a member who has the same surname.

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