Mar-A-Lago Intruder Convicted Over Attempt To Enter POTUS' Club

Trump Mar a Lago Arrest

Trump Mar a Lago Arrest

A 10-woman, two-man federal jury convicted Zhang on Wednesday of trespassing at the president's Mar-a-Lago club in March and lying to Secret Service agents.

Zhang had told security at Mar-a-Lago that she was there to go to the pool, and later told a receptionist she was there for a United Nations event that prosecutors argued she knew had been cancelled, according to court documents.

Her trial in Florida saw several odd moments.

Her arrest sparked concerns that she might have been a spy, though she faced no espionage charges.

The Chinese national faces up to six years in federal prison when she's sentenced on November 22, and will likely be deported once her sentence is completed.

Zhang made unusual choices throughout the case, ranging from firing her public defenders to switching from speaking though a Mandarin Chinese translator to halting English.

Still, the former federal prosecutor appointed by Trump earlier this year frequently tried to help Zhang navigate the trial by stepping in where defense attorneys normally would. They pointed to a receipt Zhang received from Charles Lee, a Chinese national who promotes such events at Mar-a-Lago, and a leaflet she had promoting it.

Zhang insisted she was entitled to admission to Mar-a-Lago by way of a contract for which she had paid $20,000 United States to attend a U.S.

Baffling behaviour marked Zhang's trial in the US District Court in Fort Lauderdale from the start.

Ariela Grumaz told a federal jury Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that Yujing Zhang stood out on March 30 when she entered the club's ornate lobby as she violated rules by taking photos and video, gawked at the furnishings and was wearing an evening dress at 1 p.m.

Zhang made global headlines in March when she was arrested carrying multiple electronic devices at Mr Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, including a thumb drive that was later found to contain "malicious malware", according to the Secret Service. That led to confusion over whether she was the daughter of a member.

The central question of what precisely Zhang was doing at the Trump private property remained unanswered, with prosecutors offering no explanation in court for her motives.

Speaking in Mandarin, Zhang said she was lacking in "undergarments".

Zhang then allegedly told Special Agent Samuel Ivanovich she was there in order to attend a "United Nations Friendship Event" and that she came early to "familiarize herself with the property and take pictures". Per the government, Zhang had "a total of four cellular telephones, one lap top computer, one external hard drive type device, and one thumb drive".

In reality, Zhang was trying to attend an event that had been cancelled, and which had been promoted by south Florida massage mogul Cindy Yang.

She initially told agents she did not want to leave the items at her hotel out of fear they would be stolen, but police later found around $8,000 (£6,500) in cash and more electronics in her hotel room.

The president and his family were visiting Mar-a-Lago the weekend of Zhang's arrest, but he was at his nearby golf club when she arrived and she was never near him.

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