A Chinese businesswoman who trespassed at former President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver dead at 77 Biden, Democrats losing ground with independent and suburban voters: poll Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law MORE’s Mar-a-Lago resort was deported this week after being held in immigration custody for two years.
Yujing Zhang, who was sentenced to eight months in prison, arrived in China on Sunday after her jailing at the Glades County Detention Center was prolonged amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Miami Herald.
The 35-year-old had filed a habeas corpus petition in December in an effort to speed up her removal to China. Court documents indicated Zhang wrote that she needed an attorney and had no money to place a call to her family in China, the Herald reported.
In March 2019, Zhang traveled from China to Palm Beach, Fla., ostensibly for a gala at Mar-a-Lago. She was arrested, held in custody without bail, and eventually found guilty of trespassing and lying to Secret Service agents about her reason for being at the club, the Herald reported.
During her trip to the resort, Zhang evaded two Secret Service checkpoints but was eventually stopped by a club receptionist. Her text messages indicate that she knew the gala she was supposedly attending was canceled before she even left China, according to the newspaper.
U.S. District Judge Roy Altman handed her an eight-month prison sentence. At her sentencing, the then-33-year-old said she went to the resort “to meet the president and family and just make friends,” Politico reported.
During her trial, Zhang, who spoke limited English and lacked legal training, represented herself after firing the public defender’s office, though she received some advice at the sentencing hearing from federal public defender Kristy Militello, per the Herald.
While awaiting deportation in Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s custody, Zhang unsuccessfully attempted to obtain bail as government lawyers argued that she was a flight risk, the Herald added.