- The DOJ is suing Steve Wynn to compel him to register as a Chinese foreign agent.
- The DOJ said in a court filing that Wynn had lobbied Trump on behalf of the Chinese.
- The DOJ further alleges that Wynn was acting on China’s requests to protect his business interests in Macau.
In a court document filed on Tuesday, the DOJ argued that Wynn should be made to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, citing what they said was Wynn’s backchanneling with a former PRC official to lobby Trump.
The DOJ named the ex-PRC official as Sun Lijun and said that Wynn worked with him and “acted as an agent” from June to August 2017, when he “engaged in political activities” in the US on Sun and China’s behalf.
“Specifically, at the request of Sun, and on behalf of the PRC, the Defendant conveyed to former President Donald J. Trump and his Administration (‘the Trump Administration’) the PRC’s request to remove from the country a PRC national who had sought political asylum in the United States,” the complaint read.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the individual Wynn may have lobbied Trump to remove from the US was Miles Guo Wengui, a fugitive tycoon known for investing in conservative social media platform Gettr. Wengui was also a known ally and financier of Trump adviser Steve Bannon. Guo was accused of corruption in China and now lives in exile. He has not been extradited to China yet but has filed for bankruptcy.
At the time of the alleged lobbying, Wynn owned casinos in Macau, a special administrative region of China, and was identified by Beijing as someone who “would be helpful in getting access to Trump Administration officials,” according to the DOJ.
The DOJ also said in its complaint that Wynn’s conduct “was motivated by his desire to protect his business interests in the PRC.”
Wynn’s lawyers denied the DOJ’s claims about the casino mogul in a statement to The Guardian.
“Steve Wynn has never acted as an agent of the Chinese government and had no obligation to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. We respectfully disagree with the Department of Justice’s legal interpretation of Fara and look forward to proving our case in court,” said the statement from Wynn’s lawyers, Reid Weingarten and Brian Heberlig.
The casino mogul stepped down as CEO of Wynn Resorts in 2018 and also vacated his position as the RNC’s finance chair the same year, following a report from The Wall Street Journal in which several Wynn Resorts employees accused Wynn of sexual harassment, coercion, and indecent exposure.
Trump and his associates on Tuesday faced a series of DOJ actions that portend continued legal trouble for the former president. For one, the DOJ has requested transcripts of the House panel’s interviews on the Capitol riot, which could signal further investigations into Trump’s orbit. A federal grand jury also returned more charges against Thomas Barrack, the chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee, who was accused in 2021 of secretly lobbying for the United Arab Emirates.