The Department of Justice is suing the former finance chairman of the Republican National Committee for failing to register as a foreign agent of China, the agency announced Tuesday.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a civil enforcement action seeking to compel Stephen A. Wynn, a billionaire hotel magnate and Trump confidant, to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) as an “agent of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and a senior official of the PRC’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS),” Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen announced. The MPS is an agency which reports directly to the State Council of the Chinese Communist Party, according to the agency’s website.
The DOJ’s decision comes in response to Wynn’s refusal to register as an agent of the PRC after the department advised Wynn to register in May 2021, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“The filing of this suit — the first affirmative civil lawsuit under FARA in more than three decades — demonstrates the department’s commitment to ensuring transparency in our democratic system,” Olsen said. “Where a foreign government uses an American as its agent to influence policy decisions in the United States, FARA gives the American people a right to know.”
“Steve Wynn has never acted as an agent of the Chinese government and had no obligation to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act,” Wynn’s attorneys, Reid H. Weingarten and Brian M. Heberlig, said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We respectfully disagree with the Department of Justice’s legal interpretation of FARA and look forward to proving our case in court.”
Wynn allegedly contacted Trump and members of his administration under the direction of Sun Lijun, former vice minister of the MPS, requesting that the visa of an unspecified Chinese businessman be canceled, the DOJ announcement states. The Chinese businessman in question is reportedly Guo Wengui, a billionaire Chinese fugitive, with close ties to former White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, according to The New York Times.
On more than one occasion, Wynn also allegedly suggested for Trump and other members of his administration to meet with Sun and other PRC officials, according to the DOJ announcement.
Wynn was allegedly motivated to solicit Trump and his administration on behalf of the PRC in order to “protect his business interests in Macau,” the DOJ alleges. Wynn’s former company, Wynn Resorts, owned a five-star luxury hotel in Macau, China, during the time period in question.
Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.
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