FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) — A Chinese woman who reportedly talked her way past security to illegally enter President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort will be allowed to act as her own attorney.
Federal Judge Roy Altman granted Yujing Zhang’s request Tuesday to fire her public defenders and represent herself.
Altman found Zhang competent and intelligent but strongly tried to talk her out of her decision. She insisted, however. She asked that the hearing in Fort Lauderdale be conducted in English but struggled at times understanding the judge. For example, she didn’t know “counsel” is a synonym for lawyer.
Altman ordered that she be provided with law books and the evidence against her. He told her to study.
The 33-year-old Zhang has pleaded not guilty to charges of trespassing March 30 at Mar-a-Lago and lying to Secret Service agents.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)