Glenn Youngkin, the Republican governor of Virginia, recently accepted a donation of $100,000 from a person who’s been alleged to be a foreign agent for China.
The donation came from Stephen Wynn, a casino mogul and real estate developer, on April 19. The Virginia Public Access Project made the information about that donation available to the public, though it was contained in Youngkin’s most recent campaign finance disclosures.
VPAP also provided an overview of the war chest that Youngkin has as part of his PAC, called the Spirit of Virginia. Since 2021, the PAC has obtained in excess of $10.4 million in total donations, and much of that has come from people outside of Virginia.
Wynn is one of those out-of-state donors, yet he is probably the most controversial of them all. Back in 2017, Wynn was reported to have lobbied then-President Donald Trump to deport Miles Guo, a person who was an outspoken critic of Communist China.
Wynn wanted Guo out of the U.S. and back in China so he could face potential punishment from the Chinese Communist Party. Trump denied that request.
Five years later, in 2022, the Department of Justice sued Wynn for not registering as a foreign agent of China. He apparently refused to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, insisting that the lobbying efforts he was making on behalf of China didn’t make him a foreign lobbyist or foreign agent.
As the DOJ said in a release at the time:
“Wynn was advised to register as an agent by the department but declined to do so.”
Wynn is the former CEO of Wynn Resorts, which has major hotel-casino properties in Las Vegas and other cities.
Wynn’s case was ultimately dismissed in October 2022. A federal judge ruled in favor of Wynn, agreeing with the businessman who argued that since he hadn’t done any work on behalf of the Chinese government since back in 2017, the DOJ didn’t have the ability to force him to register as a foreign agent retroactively.
Still, it’s not a good look for Wynn – and for Youngkin as a result – that he apparently did work for the Communist government in China at one point in time. What’s more, the Virginia governor has faced links to China in the past as well.
National File reported that in both 2019 – two years before he ran for Virginia governor – Youngkin sat on a panel at the World Economic Forum with Fang Xinghai, a high-ranking member of the CCP. At the time, Youngkin was serving as the Carlyle Investment Group’s co-CEO.
Then, he actually pushed very liberal policies at the WEC one year later in 2020. At that iteration of the event, Youngkin touted the fact that the Carlyle Group was adopting environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives.
While at the event in Davos, Switzerland, that year, Youngkin said that during his tenure at the firm, the Carlyle Group has been “driving ESG initiatives.”