Trump Crime Cartel Open Thread: Busy Days At Marred-A-Lago

Not a cybersecurity expert, but seems like that’s hardly best practice?

A federal prosecutor argued in court Monday that Yujing Zhang, the Chinese woman arrested trying to enter President Donald Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach last month, “lies to everyone she encounters” and said a search of her hotel room uncovered more than $8,000 in cash, as well as a “signal-detector” device used to reveal hidden cameras.

Also uncovered in the search: $7,500 in U.S. hundred-dollar bills and $663 in Chinese currency, in addition to nine USB drives, five SIM cards and other electronics, according to federal prosecutor Rolando Garcia. Signal detectors are portable devices that can detect radio waves, magnetic fields and hidden-camera equipment.

Prosecutors are treating the case as a national-security matter and an FBI counterintelligence squad is investigating, sources familiar with the inquiry told the Miami Herald.

Zhang gave conflicting accounts of why she came to Mar-a-Lago on March 30, at one point saying she had been invited to attend a social event, according to an affidavit filed by a U.S. Secret Service agent. But she was found to be carrying several electronic devices, including a thumb-drive containing “malicious malware,” the Secret Service said. That raised suspicions among federal investigators already probing possible Chinese intelligence operations in South Florida that she could be engaged in espionage…

Investigators are still trying to determine the nature of the malware Zhang allegedly brought into the club, sources told the Herald. It is not clear how much of a threat the malware posed and whether it was intended to gather information at the president’s club or possibly to destroy an existing network or program, they said.
Read more

The Leaks Begin

I like the styling of the headline in parallel to Trump’s “Some say”.

Some on Mueller’s Team See Their Findings as More Damaging for Trump Than Barr Revealed

It’s not clear how many leakers there are from Mueller’s team, and they are speaking through others.

Some of Robert S. Mueller III’s investigators have told associates that Attorney General William P. Barr failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated, according to government officials and others familiar with their simmering frustrations. [my bolding]

But it looks like more than one, and it looks like they are talking to more than one of their friends.

The Mueller team held complete secrecy during the investigation, so this leak is quite deliberate. They don’t want their report to be misrepresented.

Early concern was that Attorney General William Barr would misrepresent the report and set the narrative in that misrepresentation. Polls have shown, however, that a large majority of the country wants to see the report, even a majority of Republicans. The House of Representatives voted unanimously that the report should be released. That includes the Republicans, who felt free to do that because they knew that Mitch McConnell would never let it come to a vote in the Senate. Now they will have to live with their vote.

Barr’s gambit will not work. The longer the report is withheld, the more it will be in the news, the more suspense will build for the revelations.

And there will be leaks.

And an open thread.


Update: And now the Washington Post weighs in with a similar story. Looks like the leakers and their allies are shopping this around to multiple news outlets. There was another story a while back where they did that, but I can’t recall which one it was. Too late at night.

The Electoral College: Kill It With Fire

(Tom Toles via

Not that it has many defenders among the BJ commentariat, I’m guessing, but here’s some interesting tidbits if you care to share:

Read more


Open thread

GOP Clown Car Open Thread: Kelly Is Out, But Nobody Wants In

Read more