Yujing Zhang, the Chinese woman who trespassed at then-President Donald Trump’s exclusive Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla. in March 2019 has been deported back to China after a nearly two-year delay.
The Miami Herald reported that the 35-year-old self-described Chinese businesswoman finally returned to China on Sunday.
As the Miami Herald reported, Zhang fired her public defenders and represented herself during her 2019 trial. During her trial, Zhang told Judge Roy Altman — the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida — that she went to Mar-a-Lago to “meet the president and his family and make friends.”
“You wanted to come to make friends with the president and his family?” Altman asked during her trial.
Zhang had also claimed after her arrest that she had been invited to the club by Trump.
At the time of her arrest, Zhang was found in possession of several electronic devices, including laptops, cellphones and a signal detector — which could be used to detect hidden cameras and microphones.
During her trial, Judge Atlan asked “Why did you have the signal detection device?”
“I’m just cautious … because I’m a female … for my security,” Zhang responded.
Zhang was originally found guilty in September 2019 and was sentenced in November of that year to eight months in prison. U.S. District Judge Roy Altman considered Zhang’s time already spent in jail leading up to her trial as time served and she completed her sentence in December 2019.
Though she had fired her public defenders, Zhang still received some advice during her sentencing from Assistant Federal Public Defender Kristy Militello.
Militello argued at the time that there was “nothing nefarious” about Zhang’s visit to Mar-a-Lago — and that she was instead acting on a “fantastical idea” about proposing a business partnership with Trump and his family.
Following her sentence, Zhang was turned over to immigration authorities for deportation. Due to delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Zhang has been held in the U.S. for nearly two additional years – more than three times her original sentence.
In December 2020, an entire year after completing her original sentence, Zhang filed a habeas corpus petition in an effort to speed up her return to China. In her petition, Zhang wrote by hand in English that she had no money to call her family in China or to get an attorney and continued detention “violates a person’s basic rights.”