Trial Begins for Chinese Woman Arrested After Trespassing on Trump's Florida Resort
By VOA News September 10, 2019
The Chinese woman accused of breaching security at President Donald Trump's Florida resort is expected to continue representing herself as her trial enters her second day Tuesday.
Yujing Zhang gave a short opening statement at Monday's opening proceedings in response to the prosecuting attorney's lengthy presentation. "I don't believe I did anything wrong and that's what I want to say," Zhang told the jury, followed by a brief statement of thanks.
Her insistence on representing herself, with a public defender on standby, has annoyed District Judge Roy Altman, who is presiding over the trial. Altman chastised Zhang when she said "I don't know why I'm here" and that she thought the trial had been canceled.
The 33-year-old Zhang was arrested at Trump's Mar-a-Lago private golf resort in Palm Beach back in March after approaching a Secret Service agent claiming she was a member of the club and wanted to go to the pool. Although agents could not initially find her name on the membership list, she was eventually allowed inside after a club manager thought she was the daughter of a member.
But once she was admitted, Zhang told a receptionist she was there to attend an event by a group called the United Nations Chinese-American Association. When the staff found no such event on the schedule, Secret Service agents were notified and Zhang was detained. A search of her possessions discovered four cellphones, a laptop computer, an external hard drive and a small data storage device known as a "thumb drive" that contained malicious software.
Zhang has been charged with making false statements to federal agents and illegally entering a restricted area. She faces six years in prison if convicted.
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