Lack of underwear stalls trial of Chinese woman charged with trespassing at Mar-a-Lago
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.
Apparently Zhang (Chinese woman) came to court in her prison garb. Judge told her to wear civilian clothes. She said she could not bc she had no underwear. Eventually, she changed after court appointed lawyer said there was some in her cell.
— E PLURIBUS UNUM🇺🇸🇩🇪🏴 (@swatkins109) September 9, 2019
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.”
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The trial of a Chinese businesswoman charged with lying to a Secret Service agent and trespassing at Mar-a-Lago bogged down Monday before jury selection over her lack of underwear, the latest bizarre moment in a case that's been filled with them.
— Eric Tucker (@etuckerAP) September 9, 2019
I don’t think they’ll cast Sharon Stone in the movie though..
— LiA (@LibsInAmerica) September 9, 2019
A court proceeding without briefs?
— David Cay Johnston (@DavidCayJ) September 9, 2019
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.
“Will the prosecution and defense please submit their briefs?”
“Your honor, the defendant has none…”
— Byяon Kittle (@ByronKittle) September 9, 2019
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.
Well hung jury.
— Wesley Mouch – Wall enthusiast (@WesleyMouch8) September 9, 2019
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.
Was she, at least, wearing pants? pic.twitter.com/v0HMFNIpBH
— Jen S (@jens2763) September 9, 2019
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.
— Mikey Alexander (@mikeyhatesit) September 9, 2019
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.
Oh hell no. pic.twitter.com/sjWK7M9gbd
— Unvarnished Truth™ (@SRMillar3) September 9, 2019
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.