Federal prosecutors last week revealed a lobbying campaign targeting the highest levels of the Trump administration aimed at removing a Chinese dissident from the U.S.
Hawaii federal prosecutors charged Nickie Lum Davis with failing to inform the Justice Department that she had been hired by a Malaysian financier with extensive interests in China and who was involved in the billion-dollar 1MDB scandal.
But in the criminal information, filed August 17 in Hawaii federal district court, prosecutors allege that Davis and a top GOP fundraiser worked together on a complicated scheme to convince high-ranking members of the Trump administration to remove the Chinese dissident from the U.S.
Court papers do not identify either the GOP fundraiser or the dissident, though the Wall Street Journal reported that they are former Trump Victory Committee Vice Chairman Eliott Broidy and exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui.
Neither of them have been charged with any wrongdoing. Broidy’s attorneys have denied wrongdoing in the past.
The document says that Person B — Broidy, per the Journal — allegedly met with a Chinese minister about potentially arranging to have Guo extradited.
The alleged effort to have Guo extradited continued throughout the summer and fall of 2017, as the Chinese billionaire ramped up a campaign alleging corruption among the Beijing political elite.
The allegations also come amid an investigation into Broidy. The FBI raided Broidy’s offices in July 2018, and a search warrant for the raid obtained by ProPublica showed that the feds were interested in his lobbying work regarding Guo.
The longtime GOP fundraiser has also attracted attention for his work at President Trump’s inauguration, in which he has faced scrutiny for allegedly hawking access to the event to foreign government officials.
The Hawaii charging documents suggest that Broidy, among other things, tried to schedule a meeting with a Chinese minister and then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to promote “bi-lateral cooperation with the US with respect to law enforcement including cyber security.”
That meeting did not take place, prosecutors said. Guo was never extradited, and continues to remain in the U.S.
Prosecutors did say that the effort to extradite Guo culminated in a call with Broidy, President Trump, and an unnamed person aboard that unnamed person’s yacht.
The Wall Street Journal reported that that person is casino magnate Steve Wynn.
Read the criminal information here:
- Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
- Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism