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Chinese billionaire and Mar-a-lago member accused of spying, lawyers dispute

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by Jay O’Brien

Thursday, July 25th 2019

WEST PALM BEACH, Fl. — A Chinese billionaire and Mar-a-lago member was accused of working as a spy for China’s communist government in a federal court filing, Friday.

Guo Wengui is a fugitive from the Chinese government and has been critical of the communist regime. But a civil court filing about a business deal that Guo reportedly helped broker claims that he has previously pledged to support Chinese President Xi Jinping. The pleading them alleges that he is an agent of the Chinese government.

Guo has made several visits to President Trump’s Palm Beach club, taking pictures there in the hotel’s lobby and walking the grounds.

“Claims that Mr. Guo is a Beijing-backed spy utterly lack credibility,” said Daniel Podhaskie, Guo’s attorney, in a statement to CBS12 News.

The allegations emerged in Eastern Profit Corporation Limited v. Strategic Vision US, a civil suit regarding a deal that Guo supposedly helped facilitate. In a court filing, lawyers representing Strategic Vision mentioned audio recordings in which “Guo had professed his personal loyalty to ‘Chairman Xi,’ the leader of the Chinese Community Part and President of the People’s Republic of China.”

Guo’s lawyers told CBS12 News that he has been an outspoken critic of the Chinese government and pointed to other federal civil cases, in which defendants made claims about Guo that two federal courts found defamatory. In those cases, the alleged defamatory comments do refer to Guo as a “communist spy” but also include other allegations that a judge or jury may have found defamatory.

Lawyers for Strategic Vision said Guo’s criticism of the Chinese government may be a cover for influence peddling operations in the United States.

The allegations against Guo come after renewed calls for enhanced security at what President Trump calls the Southern White House. Earlier this month, the U.S. Government asked a federal judge to classify documents in the case of Yujing Zhang, the Chinese national accused of trying to break into Mar-a-lago with malware on a flash drive.

She has plead not guilty and is representing herself in federal court.

Below is the full statement from Mr. Guo’s attorney, Daniel Podhaskie:

"Strategic Vision’s claims that Mr. Guo is a Beijing-backed spy utterly lack credibility. Mr. Guo is the most wanted dissident by the Chinese Communist Party and has been their most outspoken and vitriolic critic since his arrival to the United States 2017. Two United States federal courts have now found statements that Mr. Guo is a Chinese spy are false and defamatory. In the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Judge Paul Grimm found that statements by Hongkuan Li that Mr. Guo is a “Chinese spy” were false and defamatory, and Judge Grimm enjoined Mr. Li from making these and similar statements about Mr. Guo going forward.

Also, a unanimous jury for the Eastern District of Virginia found that statements by Yeliang Xia that Mr. Guo is a spy for the CCP were false, defamatory and awarded Mr. Guo $100,000 as damages.

Given that Michael Waller and French Wallop’s Twitter feeds are filled with retweets from Mr. Li and Mr. Xia, it would appear that Strategic Vision is basing its counterclaims on statements that have been proven false in U.S. courts.

In addition, certain of Mr. Guo’s assets in China valued at approximately $20 billion for pennies on the dollar. So any claims that Mr. Guo is a “spy” for China is belied by all credible evidence and is quite frankly ridiculous.

Mr. Kyle Bass and Mr. Steve Bannon, the Chairman of the Rule of Law Foundation and Rule of Law Society, respectively, along with Brian Kennedy, the Chairman of the Committee on Present Danger, have never asked Mr. Guo for funding nor have they received any money for the funding of the CPD. In addition, the Rule of Foundation and the Rule of Law Society have never discussed the possibility of using any of their respective organization’s funds to assist CPD.

Likewise Mr. Guo has never taken a penny out of China or Hong Kong since he began speaking out against the CCP, which is further corroborated by the fact that Mr. Guo’s properties and assets have been seized by the CCP.

Mr. Guo has consistently emphasized that his goal is one-fold: to take down the CCP. As such, he has put all of his available resources to that end – to take down this murderous dictatorship and free his fellow countrymen in China."

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