Judge denies bail to Chinese woman arrested at Mar-a-Lago over 'extreme' flight risk
A federal judge on Monday denied bail to a Chinese woman who was arrested after illegally attempting to enter President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort earlier this month.
In issuing the ruling to Yujing Zhang, Federal Magistrate Judge William Matthewman said Zhang’s actions saying indicate “she was up to something nefarious” and that there would be an “extreme risk of flight” if she were released, according to the Associated Press.
“It does seem to the court that her alleged innocent explanation is refuted by what she left behind,” Matthewman said. “It does appear to the court that Ms. Zhang was up to something nefarious … when she gained access to Mar-a-Lago.”
He added that because of that, he’s worried Zhang would attempt to flee to China if she were granted bail, the AP reported.
Zhang was charged and later indicted on allegations that she illegally entered the resort with two Chinese passports and four cellphones. According to the AP, prosecutors are backing away from their allegations that a thumb drive carried by Zhang contained malware, with testing casting doubt on that conclusion.
Kristy Militello, a public defender for Zhang, said Zhang was originally confused by questions from Secret Service agents and suggest that if Zhang had an interpreter, “we very well may not be here.”
Zhang reportedly told the Secret Service agents that questioned her about her presence at Mar-a-Lago that she was a member of the resort, which was false. She has been charged with making false statements to federal agents as well as illegally entering a restricted area.
“It is a sad fact of this case that if a Mandarin interpreter was provided at that first contact with the Secret Service, we very well may not be here,” Militello told Matthewman, according to the AP.