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Florida Trial of Chinese Woman Has Brief Delay Over Undies

Yujing Zhang, accused in Mar-a-Lago incident, wasn't provided with any, had to change
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 9, 2019 1:26 PM CDT
In this April 15, 2019, file court sketch, Yujing Zhang, left, listens to a hearing before Magistrate Judge William Matthewman in West Palm Beach, Fla.   (Daniel Pontet via AP, File)

(Newser) – The trial of a Chinese businesswoman charged with lying to a Secret Service agent and trespassing at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago club bogged down Monday before jury selection over her lack of underwear, the latest bizarre moment in a case that has been filled with them, per the AP. Before the potential jurors were brought into the Fort Lauderdale courtroom, Yujing Zhang told Judge Roy Altman that she was wearing brown jail garb instead of civilian clothing because she had not been provided any underwear. Defendants generally wear civilian clothing during trials to not prejudice jurors against them. After some discussion about which agency was supposed to provide Zhang with underwear, she was taken to a holding cell and changed into a copper-colored blouse and khaki slacks found in her hotel room after her March arrest.

Zhang is acting as her own attorney during the federal trial, much to Altman's frustration. He again tried Monday to change the 33-year-old Shanghai consultant's mind as he did during every pretrial hearing since she fired her public defenders in June. When he demanded that she answer yes or no, she went into a long monologue in Mandarin. Altman cut her off before it could be translated, and she finally said she didn't want the public defenders. He spoke to Zhang sternly Monday after she told him, "I don't know why I am here" and said she wasn't prepared because she said she thought the trial had been cancelled. "You know precisely why you are here," Altman told her. He has repeatedly accused her at previous hearings of "playing games." Jury selection was expected to take some time before opening statements are made later Monday.

(Read more strange stuff stories.)

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