Donald Trump has so many different kinds of surreal scandals on any given day, it’s largely been forgotten that an alleged Chinese spy managed to con her way into Mar-a-Lago with a bunch of electronic equipment. Now she’s been convicted of multiple felonies, to the surprise of no one. But the specific charges against her represent yet another strange turn in the story.
The federal charges brought against Yujing Zhang were for trespassing and lying to federal agents about why she was there. She was plainly guilty on both counts, so naturally, the jury found her guilty. But the real story here is that the Feds didn’t even bother to bring the real charge against her that everyone was expecting: espionage.
Sure, it’s a lot easier to get a conviction on the cut-and-dry charges that they brought against her. But if the goal here was to get her sentenced to so many years in prison that she concludes her life is over unless she started cooperating, then espionage charges would seemingly have been the most effective route to take.
Of course the Feds can always go back and charge her with espionage later. The question is why they’d wait. The most logical explanation would be that they can’t try her for espionage right now, because they’re still targeting her handlers or whoever sent her, and they don’t want to blow the lid off that just yet. But if so, that would suggest the Feds think they’re going to be in position to arrest additional people. In such case, who in the United States was helping Yujing Zhang to break into Mar-a-Lago in search of Donald Trump’s secrets? There has to be more to this story.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report