How a woman with Chinese passports reportedly tricked the Secret Service and lied her way into Trump's Mar-a-Lago
Yujing Zhang, a woman found with multiple Chinese passports, lied her way into President Donald Trump's club Mar-a-Lago and entered the premises without permission in violation of the law, according to a new criminal complaint in federal court revealed Tuesday.
Special Agent Samuel Ivanovich of the Secret Service said in the complaint that she was carrying two passports, four cellphones, and computer equipment — including a thumb drive containing malware.
Because of Trump's planned visit to the club at the end of March, the area around Mar-a-Lago was deemed a protective zone. When Zhang tried to enter the club, Secret Service agents stopped her, according to the complaint, and she said she was going to the pool. Her name wasn't on the access list, but a manager at the club noted that her last name matched that of a guest, who agents believed might be a relative. They said they struggled to get a clear answer out of Zhang and assumed she wasn't fluent in English, so they let her through.
They noted that by entering the club, she passed signs that made it clear that access to the club was restricted.
According to the complaint, Zhang later told a receptionist a different story than she told the agents. Instead of going to the pool, she reportedly said she was going to the United Nations Chinese American Association event at the club — a non-existent event.
Ivanovich then encountered Zhang, and she told him she was there for a United Nations event, showing him an invitation that was in Chinese. He then escorted her off the property and interviewed her, discovering that she, indeed, spoke fluent English; she reportedly lied to Ivanovich about initially saying that she went to the club to swim, instead claiming that she was attempting to go the United Nations event after being invited by her friend "Charles."
The agent said that a search of Zhang's possessions found a laptop, an external hard drive, and a thumb drive. "A preliminary forensic analysis of the thumb drive determined it contained malicious malware," the complaint said.
The president was not on the property at the time Zhang allegedly entered Mar-a-Lago.
The criminal complaint provides the grounds for holding Zhang on charges of lying to federal agents and entering a protected area without permission. If prosecutors decide to pursue the charges, they will bring a formal indictment, which could include additional charges.