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Probably not a good idea to try and sneak into the President of the United States’ private resort if you’re a Chinese spy.
An even worse idea to lie about it after the fact.
In what can only be described as totally bizarre, the would-be Chinese spy at Mar-a-Lago has gone down on two counts: lying to federal agents and entering a restricted area.
She faces 6 years on both counts combined.
I love how ABC describes her as a "Chinese businesswoman":
A Chinese businesswoman charged with lying to a Secret Service agent and trespassing at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida was found guiltyfollowing a bizarre trial.
Jurors handed down the verdict against Yujing Zhang on Wednesday.
Zhang was arrested on March 30 after she allegedly told a Secret Service agent guarding Mar-a-Lago that she was there to use the pool. Once inside the posh Palm Beach resort she told a receptionist she was there to take pictures for a United Nations friendship event. Prosecutors said Zhang knew that the event had been canceled.
The trial had several twists and turns. The 33-year-old consultant from Shanghai fired her public defenders in June and chose to represent herself, a decision Judge Roy Altman did not like. He tried several times during the trial to convince Zhang to let her public defenders try the case but she refused.
And on Monday, a hearing got off to a rocky start when Zhang arrived at court wearing jail attire instead of civilian clothing, telling Altman that she was not provided any underwear. Typically, defendants wear regular clothing to court to prevent a biased view toward them from jurors.
Zhang was eventually given underwear and changed into a blouse and khaki pants so the hearing could begin. During Monday's court appearance and at several past hearings, Altman accused Zhang of "playing games" and pretending that she did not understand what was going on.
Zhang was arrested at the resort carrying a computer, a hard drive, four cellphones and a thumb drive containing malware, although agents later recanted that accusation. Agents said that Zhang told them she had the items with her because she thought they would be stolen if she left them in her hotel room, but when the room was later searched, multiple devices, thousands of dollars in cash and credit and debit cards were found in the room.
She was charged with unlawful entry of restricted buildings and grounds and false statements and was convicted on both counts. She's scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 22, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida said in a press release.
She faces a maximum sentence of a year in prison on the count of unlawful entry and a maximum sentence of five years in prison for false statements.
The Court case was anything but normal, and one day came to a total halt because the Defendant was "going commando":
Here's more, from Fox News:
Yujing Zhang, 33, is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 22. She faces up to six years in prison.
Zhang raised eyebrows by firing her public defenders and choosing to represent herself in the case, despite the recommendation of U.S. District Judge Roy Altman.
Zhang showed no reaction when the verdict was read. She then spoke calmly with federal marshals, discussing what would happen with her legal papers. She smiled at her standby public defenders and was led out of the courtroom by the marshals.
Prosecutors said Zhang fraudulently gained entry onto the restricted grounds at the Mar-a-Lago Club in March and was stopped in the main reception area by a receptionist who notified Secret Service that she was acting "weird and strange."
Zhang told a receptionist at the club and Secret Service agents that she was a member of the club, taking photos ahead of a United Nations Friendship event. This, even after she was repeatedly told no such event was scheduled, Agent Sam Ivanovich testified on Monday.
Zhang said she was unaware that the event would no longer take place, but a search of her personal belongings and hotel room found evidence to the contrary.
Secret Service agents found that Zhang had a signal detector that could spot hidden cameras, as well as four cellphones, a laptop, an external hard drive, thousands of dollars in cash and multiple credit and debit cards.
Authorities found an “aggressive” form of malware on her hard drive, leading to suspicions that Zhang was a Chinese spy.
Zhang's public defenders said before their firing that she came to Mar-a-Lago believing there would be a dinner that evening for the United Nations group, part of a $20,000 travel package she had purchased from a man named "Charles" whom she'd only known through social media. 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.
Lee ran the United Nations Chinese Friendship Association, which is not affiliated with the U.N., and was photographed at least twice with Cindy Yang, a Republican donor and former Florida massage parlor owner who organized events at Mar-a-Lago.