U.S. Accuses Steve Wynn of Lobbying Trump in the Interests of China
U.S. justice department are seeking for Wynn to register as a foreign agent
Yesterday, the U.S. Justice Departed sued former Casino tycoon Steve Wynn, accusing him of being a foreign agent of China, who they say made repeated requests to Trump on behalf of China while he held office. The Justice Department is seeking to force Mr. Wynn to register as a foreign agent.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, they had asked Mr. Wynn to register himself as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act in 2018, 2021, and April of this year, but he refused all of their requests.
In 2017, Mr. Wynn pushed Mr. Trump to deport a Chinese businessman who had sought asylum in the United States, according to the lawsuit. At the time, Mr. Wynn was the finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, a role he had been handpicked for by Mr. Trump.
The suit accuses Mr. Wynn of broaching the topic several times, including at a dinner with Mr. Trump and other administration officials in late June 2017, when he passed along passport photos of the individual to Mr. Trump’s secretary; during unscheduled meetings with Mr. Trump in August of that year; and by phone while aboard a yacht off the coast of Italy. Mr. Trump told Mr. Wynn he would look into the matter, according to the suit.
The Chinese businessman is not named in the suit, but he matches the description of Guo Wengui, a billionaire real estate magnate and an outspoken critic of Chinese government self-dealing who formed an alliance with Stephen K. Bannon, a former White House strategist for Mr. Trump. Mr. Guo fled China in 2014 in anticipation of corruption charges that he said were retaliatory. The effort to have him returned to China was ultimately unsuccessful, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed by the Justice Department also accused Wynn of furthering his own interests in China to benefit his business. Wynn stepped down from his position as chairman and CEO of his company, Wynn resorts, in 2018 after being accused of sexual misconduct. He also resigned from his role as finance chairman of the RNC in the same time period, a role that was hand-picked by Trump himself.
The Foreign Agents Registration Act requires persons engaged in domestic political or advocacy work on behalf of foreign interests to register with the Department of Justice and disclose their relationship, activities, and related financial compensation.
This act has not been enforced in many years, as this is “the first affirmative civil lawsuit under FARA in more than three decades.” according to Matthew G. Olsen, an assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s national security division.