Lots of play to the big sex and spying case in many newspapers. Here it says:

A senior US State Department official pleaded guilty to removing secret documents while having a “personal relationship” with a Taiwanese spy, the Justice Department said.

Donald Keyser, a former principal deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, also pleaded guilty to making false statements over an “undisclosed personal relationship” with a Taiwanese intelligence agent named as Isabelle Cheng, the department said.

Keyser, 62, will be sentenced on February 24 over the single count of removing documents and two of making false statements.

The Justice Department said in a statement that Keyser could face a maximum sentence of eight years in prison. Each count carries a maximum fine of US$250,000.

“Between 1992 and September 4, 2004, Keyser removed numerous classified documents from the Department of State and transported them to his home in Fairfax, Virginia.

“In all, Keyser had over 3,600 documents in either hard copy or electronic form,” the department said.

Forbes has a more detailed report:

US authorities said Keyser had conducted an ‘undisclosed’ relationship with Cheng from 2002 to September 2004, saying she was employed by ‘the foreign intelligence agency of the government of Taiwan’.

Cheng, also known as Nain-Tzu Cheng, arrived in Washington in 2001 where she worked out of an office at The Taipei Economic Cultural and Representative Office, which represents the Taiwanese authorities in Washington.

‘Keyser … regularly communicated with her by telephone and e-mail, met with her privately on numerous occasions, and occasionally travelled with her,’ the statement said.

Damn! Why don’t they ever send one of these women after me? I’d spill everything to Lin Chih-ling or Hsu Chi. Heck, I’d even whisper a few of my choicest secrets to Jolin Tsai (”Why is my pasta sauce so good? It’s the fennel, my sweet”). After, all at my age I can’t afford to be picky.

UPDATE: Don’t miss Tim’s comments below. There’s quite a bit of private speculation among the bloggers that Cheng may have been working for Beijing as well. Poor husband.