The Justice Department on Tuesday sued Stephen Wynn, the former casino magnate, seeking to force him to register as a Chinese government agent and claiming he had made requests on behalf of the government to Donald J. Trump when he was president.
According to the lawsuit, Mr. Wynn forwarded a request to Mr. Trump in 2017 from the Chinese government to deport a Chinese national who had sought asylum in the United States. At the time, Mr. Wynn was the finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, a position for which he was handpicked by Mr. Trump.
The lawsuit accuses Mr. Wynn of bringing up the subject on several occasions, including during a dinner with Mr. Trump and other administration officials on June 27, 2017, when he forwarded passport photos of the individual to Mr. Trump’s secretary; in unscheduled meetings with Mr. Wynn in August of that year; and by telephone aboard a yacht off Italy. Mr. Trump told Mr. Wynn he would look into the matter, according to the suit. The effort to deport the Chinese national, who has not been named, ultimately failed, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit portrays Mr. Wynn as advancing his own interests in Macau, a region of China known for its casinos that was essential to Mr. Wynn’s business. Mr Wynn resigned as chairman and chief executive of his company, Wynn Resorts, in 2018 after being accused of sexual misconduct. He also resigned as RNC finance chairman
By serving as an intermediary for the Chinese government, Mr Wynn acted as a foreign agent, the Justice Department said. The department said it asked Mr Wynn to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act by letter in 2018, 2021 and in April this year, but he refused to do so.
“The filing of this complaint – the first affirmative civil action under FARA in more than three decades – demonstrates the department’s commitment to ensuring transparency in our democratic system,” said Matthew G. Olsen, assistant attorney general for the division. of National Security from the Department of Justice. in a report. “Where a foreign government uses an American as an agent to influence policy decisions in the United States, FARA gives the American people the right to know.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.