Steve Wynn Requests Court to Dismiss Chinese Foreign Agent Case

Steve Wynn (l.) and counsel have petitioned a U.S. court to dismiss a lawsuit brought against him by the Department of Justice demanding that he register as a Chinese foreign agent. Wynn has maintained that his conduct did not constitute such actions.

Casino magnate Steve Wynn and his attorneys have asked a U.S. judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit brought against him by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in May, which is seeking to compel the billionaire to register as a foreign agent for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for previous actions he took when serving on the Republican National Committee (RNC) back in 2017.

The suit alleges that when Wynn was serving as the finance chairman of the RNC, he lobbied to former president Donald Trump to extradite Guo Wengui, a wealthy Chinese exile who was ousted for criticizing the state government. Wengui was seeking asylum in the U.S.

According to the DOJ, Wynn did so in order to appease Chinese officials and protect his business interests in Macau, and therefore should be sanctioned under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Wynn’s attorneys vehemently denied such claims in a federal court filing.

The former Wynn Resorts CEO “believed he acted in the interests of the United States by bringing this opportunity to President Trump, not as an agent of the Chinese official or government,” according to the filing.

Wynn asserted three main reasons as to why the suit should be dismissed: that even if the DOJ’s claims are true, his obligation to register under FARA expired once the conduct stopped, which was years ago; that a forced FARA registration would infringe upon his constitutional rights; and that the conduct outlined in the DOJ’s suit does not even meet the threshold for FARA registration.

DOJ officials said that the most recent suit represents the fourth time that Wynn has been asked to register as a foreign agent since 2018—he has refused on each occasion.

Per the DOJ, Wynn reportedly spoke with Trump regarding Wengui’s deportation at the request of Sun Lijun, a former high-ranking official for the Chinese Ministry of Security. Wynn’s lawyers said in a statement back in 2018, however, that Lijun continued to pester Wynn about the expatriate, to which Wynn replied in October 2017 that there was “nothing more he could or would do.”