A high-profile Chinese fugitive who belongs to Mar-a-Lago and has railed against China’s communist government is accused of being a spy for that very regime, according to new documents filed in a federal court case in New York. https://t.co/UEpdetjA9N
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) July 23, 2019
First time I ran across Guo Wengui’s saga, I compared it to “a Trollope novel, as written by John le Carre”. The Trickster God is a lazy scripter in general, but the crossovers by every A-list GOP grifter seems particularly rich here:
… Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui, who also goes by Miles Kwok, fled to the United States four years ago after learning an associate had been arrested on corruption charges. He is now one of China’s most-wanted, accused of myriad crimes by the Chinese government, including paying bribes and sexual assault. He maintains his innocence, saying the charges are politically motivated.
Guo, who made his money in real estate, has long promoted himself as a dissident being hunted by the Chinese government for his opposition to the ruling Chinese Communist Party. He is currently seeking political asylum in the United States, where he reportedly avoided deportation by the Trump administration after the president learned Guo was a member of Mar-a-Lago.
Now, filings in a civil case, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, suggest Guo may not be the dissident he claims. “Instead, Guo Wengui was, and is, a dissident-hunter, propagandist, and agent in the service of the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party,” according to federal court papers filed on Friday.
The Chinese spy allegations against Guo surfaced last week in a contract dispute — rife with international and political intrigue — between a Hong Kong-based company, Eastern Profit Corporation Limited, and an Arlington, Va., research firm, Strategic Vision US, LLC.
Guo denied the allegations through his attorney, saying the claim “utterly lacks credibility.”
“This lawsuit is about a contract between Eastern Profit and Strategic. Strategic is now abusing the litigation privilege to slander Mr. Guo,” wrote Guo’s attorney, Daniel Podhaskie, in a response to the Miami Herald. He claimed the slander was retaliation after Strategic’s counterclaim was dismissed. Podhaskie pointed to Guo’s frozen assets in China as proof that he is not working with the Communist Party…
Strategic Vision, headed by CEO French Wallop, the widow of the late Wyoming GOP Sen. Malcolm Wallop, was fired by Eastern Profit in February 2018 after the research firm provided information that was mostly publicly available on the probe’s targets, the suit says. Eastern Profit demanded the return of its $1 million deposit for the research work, accusing Strategic Vision of breaching their contract.
Strategic filed a counterclaim not only against Eastern Profit but also against Guo, alleging he is actually a Chinese government spy whose “origin story is untrue.”
In the counterclaim, Strategic Vision called Guo a “representative” of Eastern Profit, and accused the billionaire of giving the research firm a thumb drive loaded with malware. Strategic claimed Guo was seeking sensitive information on Chinese nationals who were actually assisting the U.S. government’s counterintelligence efforts.
“[The evidence] showed that Mr. Guo was detained in China on the date he claims to have arrived in the U.S. in early 2015, that he sent hundreds of millions of dollars back and forth between China and the U.S. for years after Chinese authorities supposedly starting seizing his assets, and that he’s used scores of lawsuits to engage in seemingly sham disputes against Chinese regime-connected entities while simultaneously filing very real lawsuits against legitimate Chinese dissidents to destroy their reputations and drain their finances.”…
The Chinese government has apparently gone to considerable lengths to try to bring Guo back to mainland China.
On May 24, 2017, several Chinese officials went to Guo’s home — a $67 million Manhattan penthouse — in an effort to persuade him to drop his activism and return to China, according to an audio recording of the meeting reported by the Wall Street Journal. The officials were traveling in the United States on visas that did not permit official business, prompting a behind-the-scenes skirmish between the FBI and State Department on whether to arrest them as they left the country, according to the Journal. In the end, the State Department’s fears of sparking an international incident won out, and the Chinese officials left the country without incident.
Around the same time, Republican National Committee Finance Chairman Steve Wynn, a casino magnate and longtime associate of Trump’s with business interests in Macau, a special administrative region of China, reportedly hand-delivered a letter to the president on behalf of the Chinese government. It requested that the United States deport Guo back to China. (Wynn denied the story through his lawyer, when asked for comment by the Journal.) Trump appeared ready to grant China’s request until his aides dissuaded him by telling him that Guo was a member of Mar-a-Lago, according to the Journal.
Guo is known to be one of China’s most eccentric billionaires and has spent his life mired in controversy. Guo’s official Facebook page is filled with videos of himself demonstrating his various workout routines and anti-Chinese Communist Party content — like one recent video in which he interviews former senior Trump advisor Steve Bannon on U.S.-Chinese relations over dinner.
The unlikely duo met while Bannon worked in the White House as Trump’s chief strategist, according to Bannon, who spoke at a news conference last year where he announced he was joining Guo’s effort to expose Chinese corruption around the globe…
I’m not competent to speak as to Mr. Kwok’s actual allegiances, but even the most nominal google search would indicate, in the words of the old folk proverb: Shake the hand of any of these people, count your fingers afterwards.