After accusations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Steve Wynn, the founder and former head of Wynn Resorts stepped down from the company. He repeatedly asserted that he hadn’t done anything wrong, despite a number of individuals stepping forward to allegedly confirm his deviant behavior. That was a couple of years ago and Wynn has still been trying to shake free of the demons ever since. The Department of Justice (DOJ) just added a new demon, though, that will keep Wynn and his legal team busy for a while longer. The government agency asserts that Wynn must register as a foreign lobbyist or face legal action.
Did Steve Wynn Support China?
The Wall Street Journal ran a story yesterday about the DOJ’s attack on Wynn. The agency accuses him of having lobbied the Trump administration to receive, in 2017, a diplomatic favor for China, with prosecutors said to have damning evidence against him. Wynn was previously an informal adviser to Donald Trump when he was POTUS and has also served as the finance chair for the Republican National Party.
The favor is reportedly tied to a Chinese billionaire and businessman, Guo Wengui, who arrived in New York three years earlier and was granted asylum. Wynn is said to have contacted government officials in 2017 to try to get him sent back to China and reportedly delivered a letter to Trump that he had received from the Chinese government regarding Guo’s extradition. Guo, who is said to have been a member of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida and had ties to Steve Bannon, had been accused in that country of bribery and sexual assault.
Because of Wynn’s involvement, the DOJ asserts that he was in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The act requires US residents acting on behalf of a foreign government to identify themselves in that role. Former Attorney General William Barr said earlier this year that anyone found working to promote Chinese policies in any way could be held accountable under FARA, but Wynn is the first victim.
Wynn Asserts His Innocence
The DOJ cannot levy any monetary penalties against Wynn for his alleged involvement, but it can have a court order him to register as a foreign agent. The federal agency has said that it is ready to seek that order if Wynn doesn’t register voluntarily. The former casino mogul is likely to stand firm and find out of the DOJ is bluffing.
Wynn, who was still defending himself in court as recently as this past April, doesn’t believe he has done anything wrong and denied that he delivered the letter to Trump. His lawyers assert that forcing him to register as a foreign agent would be a “miscarriage of justice” and abuse of FARA. They argue that his only role was that of a messenger.
Guo, who hasn’t been able to stay out of trouble since his arrival in the US, is aware of the DOJ’s actions against Wynn and supports them. He issued a statement saying that he is glad the department is investigating Wynn and adds that he believes Wynn should be indicted for being a “greedy spy of the Chinese Communist Party,” despite having no publicly available evidence to support his assertion.