Yujing Zhang, the Chinese woman arrested in March for entering Mar-a-Lago – the national club of President Donald Trump in Florida – was found guilty of lying to federal agents and having penetrated in a restricted area.
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Zhang, who introduced herself after declining the offer of a public defender presented by the court, did not seem to show any emotion at the receipt of the verdict. She is scheduled to be sentenced on November 22 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
On March 30, she was allowed to enter by mistake by Mar-a-Lago staff. In addition to the alleged intrusion, prosecutors alleged that she had lied to the Secret Service agents while she was allowed to pass the checkpoints. It was only discovered when a receptionist realized that his name was not on the club's access list.
"She was then interrogated and surrounded by other officers." She had an empty face, full control, and answered their questions. [in English]Ariela Grumaz, a receptionist from Mar-a-Lago, testified on Tuesday.
Zhang's trial was initially delayed after a strange preliminary hearing in August.
During the hearing, Zhang sometimes seemed not to hear the judge, had refused to answer questions verbally, had claimed that she felt "sick" and "dizzy" and had usually not cooperated with the procedure.
"I am not available today," she said.
Judge Roy Altman of South Florida District accused Zhang of "playing games" with the court.
Zhang went from English to Mandarin in the audience room this week.
She was born in 1986 and told a Florida court in April that she worked for a Chinese company called Shanghai Zhirong Assets Managements Corporation. She also owns a house in China worth about 1.3 million dollars and drives a BMW.
While detained, investigators reported finding several electronic devices on her and her room at a local hotel, including a device to detect hidden cameras. From the beginning, prosecutors have hinted that Zhang was being investigated for his potential links with spying, but no further charges have been withheld. Before their initial dismissal, Zhang's public defenders claimed that the whole thing was a misunderstanding and claimed that she had not made "false direct statements" to federal agents, contrary to what was alleged .
The government argued that she had acted clearly by going on property and then lying to federal agents.
After about half a day of testimony from government witnesses, Zhang sometimes referred to his public defender.
In her closing statement, she repeated that she did not believe that she had done anything wrong.
"Good afternoon, it's my first time, so I'm nervous," she says. "As you have seen, in the beginning, what is happening, I would say that I have a contract with the President and Ivanka, I think that the fact that I did not do anything I did not lie, I think I went to Mar-a -Lago to have a visit, thank you for your attention. "
Karen D & Uva is an independent producer based in Florida.