With her return to China, Sunday marked the end of a more than two-year saga for a woman convicted of trespassing at the Mar-a-Lago resort when Donald Trump was president. Yujing Zhang, 35, was only sentenced to eight months in federal prison, but she moved to immigration custody in early December 2019, according to The Miami Herald. It took them so long to deport her because the COVID-19 pandemic slowed travel worldwide, “sources familiar with her situation” reportedly said.
Authorities said that Zhang had four cell phones, a laptop computer, “one external hard drive type device,” and a thumb drive that contained malware. She repeatedly lied about why she was on the premises, once telling a Secret Service agent she was going to the pool, prosecutors said. Zhang ultimately represented herself at trial.
“She said she was there for a United Nations friendship event,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Roland Garcia said in closing arguments. “Well, that was a clear lie. She was bound and determined to get on that property.”
Authorities said she went by two Secret Service checkpoints.
Zhang insisted she never lied or did anything wrong. At sentencing, she insisted she just wanted to meet Trump.
“I already said I come to meet the president and his family and make friends,” she said.
Those who knew her described her as a social climber who became fixated on Trump and apparent bought into the mythology surrounding him, according to The Miami Herald. Trump was reportedly popular among the business class in China, where he was “advertised,” in the Herald‘s words, as a “plainspoken, self-made billionaire.” Zhang reportedly had, financially speaking, a modest upbringing.
[Screenshot via WSVN]
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