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Secret Service agent ‘corrupted’ his computer by accidentally installing Mar-a-Lago intruder’s malware

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A Secret Service agent admitted that he mistakenly “corrupted” his work computer by connecting a USB flash drive with suspected Chinese malware.

The Miami Herald reported that in a court hearing on Monday prosecutors said that Yujing Zhang, a Chinese national, had been taken into custody at Mar-a-Lago with nine USB drives, five SIM cards and a device to detect cameras. Zhang was also carrying $7,500 in U.S. currency and $663 in Chinese Yen.

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“Prosecutors are treating the case as a national-security matter and an FBI counterintelligence squad is investigating,” the Herald noted.

The report went on to state that malware was found on the USB drives after a Secret Service agent plugged one into his computer.

Investigators are still trying to determine the nature of the malware Zhang allegedly brought into the club, the 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.

Secret Service agent Samuel Ivanovich, who interviewed Zhang on the day of her arrest, testified at the hearing. He stated that when another agent put Zhang’s thumb-drive into his computer, it immediately began to install files, a “very out-of-the-ordinary” event that he had never seen happen before during this kind of analysis. The agent had to immediately stop the analysis to halt any further corruption of his computer, Ivanovich said. The analysis is ongoing but still inconclusive, he testified.

On Monday, the White House announced that Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles is being removed by President Donald Trump.

But officials have insisted that the director’s ouster was planned weeks ago, prior to the intrusion at Mar-a-Lago.

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Mitch McConnell says he’s in ‘total coordination with the White House’ on Trump’s impeachment

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said clearly on Thursday what many have assumed: When articles of impeachment come over from the House of Representatives, as is expected, to his chamber, he will be acting virtually as President Donald Trump’s defense attorney.

“Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with White House counsel,” he said on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show. “There will be no difference between the President’s position and our position as to how to handle this.”

He noted that, unlike the many other issues that come to his chamber, he’s unable to block impeachment. If it comes, he has to hold a trial, he admitted somewhat ruefully.

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UK’s Boris Johnson looks set for big win in ‘Brexit election’

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson's ruling party appeared on course for a sweeping victory in Thursday's snap election, an exit poll showed, paving the way for Britain to leave the EU next month after years of political deadlock.

The Conservatives were forecast to win a thumping 368 out of 650 seats in parliament -- which if confirmed would be the party's biggest majority in three decades -- according to the survey published as polls closed.

The pound jumped by about two percent against the dollar on the projected results of what all sides had painted as the most momentous election in Britain in a generation.

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Trump administration heavily redacted documents concerning their withholding of Ukraine aid

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The Trump administration has refused to disclose how key officials at the Department of Defense and the White House Office of Management and Budget reacted to President Trump’s decision to halt military aid to Ukraine.

On Nov. 25, federal district court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the administration to produce records reflecting what these officials said to one another about the legality and appropriateness of Trump’s order. The Center for Public Integrity sought the information in Freedom of Information Act requests filed in late September.

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