Juan Tang is now on her way back home to China as average Americans begin questioning the priorities of American law enforcement officials.
Last July, I reported that the Trump administration ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, a severe diplomatic step that was a response to a surge in Chinese espionage in this country.
At that time, a University of California-Davis researcher who had fled to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco after allegedly lying to investigators about her Chinese military service was arrested.
This July, it appears that with a different administration there are different priorities. U.S. prosecutors are dropping their case against Juan Tang, the researcher accused of concealing her ties to the Chinese military on a visa application so she could work in this country.
In documents filed in federal court in Sacramento, prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss a charge of visa fraud against Juan Tang but gave no reason why.
The trial was set to begin on Monday. A message seeking comment from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Sacramento was not returned.
Tang’s attorneys told the Sacramento Bee they provided “ample reason” to the government for dismissing the case.
“We hope Dr. Tang is allowed to return to her daughter and husband on her own,” Malcolm Segal and Tom Johnson said in a statement.
The case has now been dropped, just ahead of the trial that was slated to begin Monday. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Sacramento has not offered comments to press inquiries.
Tang’s lawyers argued that she really wasn’t a member of the Chinese military.
Tang’s attorneys had argued that the doctor was not a member of the Chinese military but had worked as a civilian at a Chinese military facility. They said the charge of lying on her visa application likely would have resulted in a six-month sentence, less than the 10 months she has already spent in jail and under house arrest.
U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez previously dismissed a separate count charging Tang with lying to the FBI because agents violated her Miranda rights by not advising her that she did not have to answer their questions.
Tang never was able to begin her cancer research at UC Davis because the coronavirus pandemic shut down the lab where she was to work.
Tang is now on her way back to China. She appears deeply grateful to her lawyers.
Thursday afternoon, she first got word that the U.S. government was dropping her case, and Friday morning the word became official when Mendez signed an order dismissing the lone remaining count against her.
“I think at first she was stunned, not quite understanding how it happened, why it happened,” Johnson said in an interview Friday inside Segal’s office.
“She was, of course, thrilled,” Segal added. “We had to talk to her with a (Mandarin) interpreter on the phone, but we accomplished that and immediately made contact with the court to arrange the removal of her ankle bracelet and to get the return of her passport so that she could return home.”
Before noon Friday, Tang was on her way to catch a flight back to China, stopping long enough outside the federal courthouse in downtown Sacramento to pose for a photo holding her passport up and standing between Johnson and Segal.
This development has many Americans scratching their heads about the choices being made by the nation’s law enforcement authorities.
Fbi is to busy making up fake crimes and fake documents to go after real crimes, must me nice to have plush government job and benefits and do nothing but entrap the innocent American citizens
— Tim (@Tim94364393) July 23, 2021
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