Lack of underwear stalls trial of Chinese woman charged with trespassing at Mar-a-Lago

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Jury selection was interrupted this week in the case of a Chinese Woman charged with illegally entering President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort with several electronic devices and then lying to the Secret Service about it. The trial was halted when the woman showed up in a jumpsuit, claiming authorities wouldn’t give her any underwear.

Yujing Zhang, a 33-year-old Shanghai business consultant was eventually taken to a holding cell, where she changed into a blouse and khaki pants that were found in her hotel room after Secret Service agents arrested her.

In April, President Trump let go the head of the Secret Service, but he insisted it had nothing to do with the security breach at Mar-a-Lago when Zhang illegally entered the club “carrying Chinese passports and a flash drive containing malware.”

I don’t think they’ll cast Sharon Stone in the movie though..

Zhang fired her public defenders in June against the recommendation of U.S. District Judge Roy Altman in order to represent herself with the use of a translator. But during pretrial hearings, she at times appeared to struggle with answering simple questions in English, while replying with near-fluency at other times.

Language became another issue Monday when Zhang claimed that she hadn’t spoken Mandarin in months and was finding it difficult to follow her interpreter.

She also told Altman “I don’t know why I am here,” claiming she wasn’t prepared because she thought the trial had been canceled. Altman previously ordered Zhang’s public defenders to provide her with law books to study while examining the evidence.

Secret Service agents arrested Zhang after she tried to enter the Florida club on March 30. Agents said they found her carrying a computer, cellphones and other electronics. She also had a signal detector meant to spot hidden cameras and a significant amount of cash stashed in her area hotel room.

Agents initially said a thumb drive in her possession contained malware, but later recanted that accusation.

While Zhang isn’t charged with espionage, prosecutors have filed secret evidence under seal that they say has national security implications.

Zhang has pleaded not guilty to charges of unlawful entry and making false statements. She faces up to six years in prison and $250,000 in fines if convicted.

She has been held without bond. Her former public defenders are on standby, sitting in the gallery behind her, in case she changes her mind about acting as her own attorney.

Agents said Zhang told them she brought the electronics to Mar-a-Lago because she feared they would be stolen if left at her nearby hotel, but in her room they allegedly found a device to detect hidden cameras, computers, $8,000 in cash plus credit and debit cards, all in the open.

60 potential jurors were brought into the courtroom and jury selection began. Several told Altman they have negative feelings about Trump, but Altman, a Trump appointee, assured them the president has no direct connection to the case. Broward County is a Democratic stronghold.

While they have said Zhang appeared mentally competent, she’s refused to speak with a psychologist. Relatives in China told them she has no mental health problems.

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