The woman who got past two Secret Security details last week at Mar-A-Lago while President Trump was golfing had more than just a thumb drive with highly potent malware, she had a cache of spy gear, according to authorities, including hidden camera detectors.
And, everything she has said has been a lie.
“She lies to everyone she encounters,” Assistant US Attorney Rolando Garcia said Monday during the bond hearing.
“Her ties are all in China.’’
The New York Post reported:
Just two days earlier, she had arrived in Newark, NJ, on a flight from Shanghai — and entered the country on a B-1 business visa.
Zhang told investigators that she is an investor and consultant in China who hoped to promote Chinese-American business relations while at Mar-a-Largo.
She was successful in China, she said — owning a $1.3 million home and BMW there.
But authorities said the shady Zhang lied right out of the gate when she arrived at the exclusive Palm Beach resort around noon that Saturday.
First, she told Secret Service agents who were there to protect the property that she was a guest headed for a swim at its pool — even though she was wearing a long gray dress and had no swimsuit with her, officials said.
A friendly manager eventually helped wave her through, noting that Zhang’s last name — which is extremely common in China — matched that of an older male club member.
Zhang was then shuttled in a golf cart further into the resort.
She went through a second Secret Service security checkpoint, where agents used a magnetometer to screen her for weapons and explosives.
She was then taken to the club’s main reception area, and that’s where she made her mistake, authorities said.
This time, she told a receptionist she was at the resort to attend a “United Nations Chinese American Associate’’ event, they said. The problem was, there was no such event scheduled — and the worker alerted Secret Service, who began questioning her and watched her story fall apart, the feds said.
Zhang was arrested, and authorities eventually found an interesting trove of items on her and in her nearby hotel room.
They said she was carrying four cell phones, two Chinese passports, a laptop, an external hard drive — and the thumb drive loaded with “malicious malware.”
But, the real evidence came later when forensic experts examined the thumb drive.
Secret Service Agent Samuel Ivanovich testified that when the thumb drive was inserted into another agent’s computer, “a file immediately began to install itself.”
“He knew it was something out of the ordinary,” Ivanovich stated. “He had to immediately stop his analysis and shut down his computer in order to stop it.”
In her Colony Hotel room, Zhang had a device that identifies hidden cameras using radio frequencies, along with another cell phone, nine more USB drives, five different SIM cards and about $8000 in cash.
Zhang claimed she had so many phones because she was afraid they’d be stolen…
Garcia retorted in court, “Someone who is afraid of her property being stolen at the hotel does not leave so much cash and credit cards in a hotel room.’’
Garcia admitted that “no allegation that she is involved in any espionage’’ has yet been discovered, but authorities are still investigating.
The incident gave democrats something to complain about: Mar-a-Lago’s security.
“The two main questions are, how secure it is with regard to safety of the president and his family, and then we want to know about security with regard to communications. It seems like anybody can kind of mosey up and bring communications equipment,” Elijah Cummings said.
Zhang’s lawyer claimed she was just a normal person trying to get into the pool at Mar-a-Lago, of course, she did not have a bathing suit with her.
The bail hearing has been postponed for another week.