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Detention of Accused China Spy NYPD Officer Upheld By 2d Cir Ignoring Denaturalization

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 11 – The penetration of the Chinese Communist Party into New York City, not only the nearly fully purchased United Nations of Antonio Guterres but even the NYPD, became clearer on September 21. Inner City Press first tweet here.

 According to an Eastern District of New York filing, on Inner City Press' Document Cloud here, NYPD Officer Angwang, an ethnic Tibetan from China, had CPC handlers in the Chinese consulate just south of the United Nations and reported to them information on pro-independence Tibetans in New York.

This also happens through the UN. So what about indictments there? So far SDNY has only gone after the bribers - Ng Lap Seng and Patrick Ho - and not the bribees, for example Antonio Guterres. Inner City Press, banned from the UN for asking about this, continues to report on it.

 On October 2, Angwang was ordered freed, with a stay until the end of the day. Then in an appeal, the stay was extended until October 6 or 7, pending briefings. Inner City Press live tweeted the appeal arguemnt, below.

On October 7, Judge Eric Komitee ordered Angwang's continued detention. Full 16-pagedecision here, free, on Inner City Press' DocumentCloud.

On November 17, Angwang's appeal was heard in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Inner City Press again live tweeted, here:

Judge Wesley: The District Court was troubled by your client's untruthfulness.

Angwang's lawyer John Carman: I had no contact with him at that time. So there's an incomplete record. His employment with private Chinese individual in 2014 is irrelevant.

Judge Wesley: Did you misspeak about it?
Carman: I didn't have all the info about his relationship with this private individual. 

Judge Wesley: Is there a trial date?

Carman: They intend to introduce FISA information - could take months. No trial to 2022-23.

Judge Wesley: In similar cases, there is detention.

Carman: But Angwang is a US citizen.

Judge Katzmann: Judge Wesley raised the issue of deceit... 

Carman: The District Court replied on holes in the pre-trial services report... He acknowledged NYPD job, just not the private employment

AUSA Matthew Haggans: Angwang said to his handler, he hoped the info would boost his status with the PRC government - while serving with NYPD. The District Court was also concerned with severe risk of flight in this case. He said he would be content to return to China for gov't

Judge: What about deceit? AUSA: There more context. During the arrest and search pursuant to warrant, the gov found NY drivers' licenses, passports and applications, for St Kitts & Nevis.

Judge: He was going to use another's identity? IDs not useful if for a woman

Judge: I don't understand the risk of flight... Now he's a US citizen. He's got a little child and his wife. How could they leave? If they weren't a risk of flight you wouldn't charge them bail.

AUSA: Angwang knows where to turn, PRC consulate Judge: That's fair

Judge: Why not send this back to be reconsidered without denaturalization being in it? AUSA: Uh... the court has that power. Angwang's lawyer: The Consulate, Angwang was only dealing with because he's an ethnic Tibetan. He can't get a 10 year visa for $50.

Judge Walker: He's not just a Tibetan walking in off the street into the consulate. 

Lawyer: But they don't give him a visa. So did he give them anything, for all of his posturing? I think, No. He doesn't get what he's looking for. Judge: Time's up

And now on December 11, the Second Circuit has upheld Angwang's detention: "Appeal from an order of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Komitee, J.). UPON DUE CONSIDERATION, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that the order of the district court is AFFIRMED. Defendant-appellant Baimadajie Angwang appeals from an order entered on October 7, 2020, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Komitee, J.), detaining him pending trial. Angwang is alleged to have, inter alia, acted as an unregistered agent of the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) by communicating with a PRC official while serving as an NYPD officer. The district court denied bail on the ground that “no condition or combination of conditions w[ould] reasonably assure the appearance of” Angwang as required under 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e). D. Ct. ECF No. 16 (“Bail Order”) at 3.  1 We assume the parties’ familiarity with the underlying facts, the procedural history of the case, and the issues on appeal...Even excluding any considerations of denaturalization, there was no such error here. The district court carefully considered the 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g) factors, including both mitigating facts such as Angwang’s military service, as well as aggravating facts. We find no clear error in the district court’s conclusion that, on balance, the aggravating facts—including Angwang’s strong ties to the PRC, his access to significant financial resources, and the seriousness of the allegations against him—render Angwang a flight risk. This holds true even absent any consideration of Angwang’s possible denaturalization, particularly in light of Angwang’s two failed arguments above. Accordingly, the district court did not clearly err in its ultimate denial of bail.  5  We have considered Angwang’s remaining arguments and find in them no basis for reversal. Accordingly, the judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED."

The Oct 2 argument: Judge Komitee says he wants to hear about possible jail time for Angwang, and if he might be deported if his citizen was procured by fraud. AUSA Michael Keilty: This morning Judge Bloom based her decision to free the defendant mostly on COVID Inner City Press @innercitypress · 1h AUSA: COVID is not a factor in the Bail Reform Act. But risk of flight is. Angwang was been operating as an asset for the People's Republic of China, the PRC. He has been in contact with the Chinese consulate AUSA: He was caught on judicially authorized wiretaps, telling PRC official 2 about targets, like a person running for political office in Ohio (!)

Note: Inner City Press reseach zeroes in on Aftab Pureval, here

 AUSA: This is about China trying to use soft power, to work through minorities. This division of the Consulate, this is their M.O. -  Judge Komitee: What paragraph of the Complaint?... Let's look at Paragraph 19.  The word "asset" has a particular meaning.

 Judge Komitee: So is organizing a trip to China, is that an intelligence activity? AUSA: One of their activities is to lobby US officials. In this case is would have been a fairly senior one.

 AUSA: "If Angwang walks into the Chinese Mission to the UN, we've lost him." Then, "We have the case of Julian Assange, who just holes up in there, in the UK." AUSA Keilty: The defendant is a liar. He was being deported and he sought asylum on alleged torture in China. Then when he applied for naturalization, he didn't disclose that he had ever faced deportation. And why did he then visit China again and again?

 Judge Komitee: I'm new to the INA. The definition of a refugee, here, is a person outside of China due to persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution. The defense says he did, based on ethnicity. Inner City Press @innercitypress · 55m Inner City Press interim research: Complaint says "On or about Feb 13, 2019, ANGWANG called PRC Official-2, and described a U.S. citizen of Tibetan ethnicity who ran for office during the previous election cycle. ANGWANG stated that although unsuccessful..."

 Angwang said, “So, if this person, if this person can get elected, he can, you can organize a trip to tour China. I think this news would generate very positiveAUSA: We have recorded phone calls bragging how the Chinese Consulate has recruited one in the police department. Judge Komitee: Was that just for a holiday party? AUSA: He entered alone.

 Judge Komitee: Did he enter five times? 20 times? AUSA: More than five. And we surveilled him having dinner with consulate officials. I don't know about you, but I don't keep other people's passport photos. Our evidence is strong. He should be detained.

 Judge Komitee: What about his wife? Is she Tibetan? AUSA: No. She is Han Chinese. I got a call from the FBI this afternoon that the immigration authorities have reached out about possible fraud in Angwang's naturalization.

Angwang's lawyer: Where to begin. Let's start with the passports he had. Mr Wang, he's well known to the government. He traveled to buy property in St. Kitts. One of the driver's licenses, Angwang doesn't know who the person is. Judge Komitee: Angwang was a personal assistant? Defense lawyer: Yes, before the NYPD. He traveled with Mr. Wang. He worked for him. Judge: Then why isn't it on his employment history in the pre-trial services report?

Defense: Well, it wasn't employment in the traditional sense. Anything else on the passport, Judge? Judge: No, not at the moment.  Defense: Of course he was persecuted as a teenager in China. We don't need to spend time on that.

 Defense: This morning nine suretors spoke. It was incredibly compelling. Now on the embassy, and the idea he's a bridge away from a nice life in Beijing. They talk about 55 years, but the actual exposure is smaller. The FARA charge is 10 year maximum.  Defense: I think there was recently a very lenient sentence on FARA. This is not about state secrets, this is about soft power. .. All they have is PRC-2. If you read my letter, you'll find he is a Tibetan. So he's kind of accepted by the community.

Judge Komitee: I may ask for expedited briefing on the FARA [Foreign Agent Registration Act] issue. NYPD is a position of trust. Identifying people for the PRC seems like a more serious FARA violation than a lawyer making a single call for a client

 Defense: I would focus on PRC-2... "There is a guy in Ohio you should meet" Defense: PRC-2 controlled Angwang's ability to go to visit his parents. Judge Komitee: That's about motive. Defense: A Han Chinese gets a 10 year visa easily. But a Tibetan? Six month process to get a 30 day visa. Angwang was saying, I just want my visa

 Defense: I don't see any jail time. The AUSA says it's all sinister. I don't see it. AUSA: This is not straight up FARA. I get very upset when defense counsel starts talking about, this is not classified info. But he was spying on his neighbors, for China. This is abhorrent.

AUSA: Angwang told the consulate, you should do X, Y and Z to get additional people like me. Give us 100% types 10 year visas so we can do more here.  Defense: He was lobbying this government bureaucrat.

AUSA (to Defense) - so this 100% stuff, I guess you can explain that away? Judge Komitee: There are still open factual disputes, about the prison time faced, and about the immigration issue. If the US can show Angwang's asylum application was procured by fraud

Judge Komitee: I'd like US briefing on Sunday on the sentencing guidelines, from across the country, and immigration law analysis, on denaturalization.  What past persecution enough? Or did he mislead about the future?

 Judge Komitee: And the defense can respond Monday, after seeing the US filings. Defense: 5 pm OK? I have a family commitment. Judge Komittee: 7 pm would be fine. Then I'll work hard on a decision. And I'll listen to the recording of Judge Bloom over the weekend.

AUSA: Continue he detention. Judge Komitee: I am staying Judge Bloom's decision until I decide, by close of business on Tuesday, or Wednesday. [Would US appeal to 2d Circuit?] Adjourned.

And from the morning of Oct 2:

Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom says she got a second letter this morning from the EDNY prosecutors, about Angwang as a risk of flight.  You might say.

Judge Bloom says there's a friend of Angwang's from the Marines, another who's a restaurant manager. She asks for Angwang's reply on risk of flight, and about what bail package might look like. Angwang's lawyer: OK, my client was in possession of travel documents

Judge Bloom: You're saying Angwang had other people's passports? Angwang's lawyer: Yes. He had a Mr. Wang's passport. They traveled together to Hong Kong and St. Kitts. There were two other people's passports who he had. Angwang was personal assistant to Mr. Wang

 Now Angwang's lawyer is saying he didn't mean to claim he had sought asylum, he just misunderstood the question. Says the fact that he returned to China doesn't mean he wasn't oppressed. But why was he going into the Chinese consulate on 35th Street so much?

To Inner City Press, explaining Angwang having Mr. Wang's passport by saying he was personal assistant to a man traveling to St. Kitts hearkens back to UN briber Ng Lap Seng and *his* personal assistant, Jeffrey Yin, here.

 Angwang's lawyer offer a million dollar bond. AUSA: All he would have to do is walk into one of those buildings and he's done. Of course the Chinese would want him - they could say, If you get caught, we'll help you. It's a recruiting tool.

AUSA: The PRC would use that as propaganda. He is very familiar with the consulate. He's not, as portrayed, a "Tibetan separatist." He is a PRC asset. The other ethnic Tibetans he's been trying to get in with visas are also assets.

AUSA: He also had other people's drivers licenses. Why? These are not Tibetan separatists.  Judge Bloom: I am not here to decided on his guilt, unlike the legal systems in other countries particularly the PRC. What about the conditions at the MDC? When a trial?

AUSA: We are restarting trials -- Judge Bloom: Only two at a time. And this is not even indicted yet. AUSA: OK, we are starting to restart trials. But the MDC has reinstituted attorney visits. Judge Bloom: We can't even get MDC on the phone. This took 30 minutes.

Judge Bloom: This man would likely be held for several years before this case would come to trial. AUSA: We'd try to move the case along. Judge Bloom: There is no vaccine.  

It sure sounds like Judge Bloom is going to release Angwang... She's interviewing suretors

Judge Bloom orders that no one call the interpreter, says she is prepared to release Angwang on bond. She apologizes to the suretors.

Judge Bloom asks Angwang's wife, how long have you been married? The wife hesitates, then says, Three years I think. Judge Bloom: Usually it's the husband who doesn't remember.

Judge Bloom wants to be sure Angwang can go out into the backyard of the house he'll be in.  Judge Bloom: Where does your mother work? Mrs. Angwang: She works in a casino, in Jamaica [Queens] She makes $60,000 a year

Another suretor is a USPS letter carrier. Judge Bloom: I always thought that would be the best career. You get to know everyone on your route.

Now Ms Liu, another (proposed?) suretor, says she met Mr. Angwang in China. Oh. Inner City Press @innercitypress · 39m Ms. Liu says that where she met Angwang in China he was called "Big Brother." He made a point of saying, "I am a minority."  That is, a pro-CCP Tibetan (?)

Next suretor is a realtor in Kansas City. Judge Bloom: I've heard they have good barbeque there. From the detention letter: "on or about January 29, 2014, a U.S. bank account jointly held in the name of Angwang and Angwang’s wife received separate credits of $50,000 and $20,000 from an account held in the name of an individual at the Bank of China in New York.

Magistrate Judge says Angwang is being freed. AUSA: We ask for a stay until the end of the day to appeal to the duty District Judge (Part 1). Mag Judge: But how will he get his GPS bracelet? Inner City Press aims to continue to cover this

 Now on phone line, someone is sputtering  (is it Zhang Jun?) It is said if he is release late in the day, he will be unmonitored over the weekend.

Watch this site.

 Inner City Press has asked China's UN Ambassador Zhang Jun about it: "What about today's indictment & detention of your citizen Baimadajie Angwang for spying on New Yorkers from Tibet for your consulate? Is it for your Mission that  @AntonioGuterres  has banned Inner City Press from #UNGA? What's your view of Patrick Ho/CEFC? Xièxiè." We said "we will report any answer(s)."

The response as been for China's "Ambassador" to the UN Zhang Jun to block Inner City Press on Twitter.

 Now on October 1, still blocked and banned from UNSC press conference, Inner City Press has learned that Angwang will be arguing for bail on October 2: "USA V. ANGWANG.   Criminal Cause for Bail Application.*  Deft. – Baimadajie Angwang, NYPD police officer charged with acting as an agent of a foreign government (People’s Republic of China) without prior notification to the Attorney General, wire fraud, false statements and obstruction of an official proceeding.  United States Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom." We'll be there.

Inner City Press published the detention memo, here.

  More than an hour late at 4:30 pm on September 21, Angwang was presented in EDNY. Inner City Press live tweeted it, here:

EDNY Magistrate Judge Roanne L. Mann asks Baimadajie Angwang if he understands his rights.

He says, "Yes your honor." [How many people has he Mirandized? For whom?]

She says the charge involves not telling the DOJ he was working for China.  [Note: in SDNY there's also a case of UN staffer Karim Elkorany for false statements, about him drugging and raping women in Iraq. The UN covered that one up - what's its role here?] Mann: You obstructed National Security investigation, per the charges.

Angwang has privately retained as his lawyer John Carman. [Who is paying him?] Angwang is consenting to detention, unlike for example PPP fraudster Muge Ma, and Patrick Ho was he was arrested.

Magistrate Judge Mann: I am entering a permanent order of detention without prejudice and am terminating the proceeding. 

Watch this site. 


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