Appeals Court Again Rejects DOJ’s Foreign Agent Lawsuit Against Steve Wynn

Ryan Morgan
By Ryan Morgan
June 15, 2024Courts
Appeals Court Again Rejects DOJ’s Foreign Agent Lawsuit Against Steve Wynn
Wynn Resorts Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn speaks at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2014 at The Venetian Las Vegas in Las Vegas on Sept. 30, 2014. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

A federal appeals court on Friday ruled against the U.S. Justice Department in its bid to force casino magnate Steve Wynn to register as a foreign agent of China.

The DOJ filed a civil lawsuit in May 2022 to compel Mr. Wynn—who has had a hand in multiple Las Vegas resorts and has served as the Republican National Committee’s finance chairman—to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) as an agent working on behalf of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the PRC’s Ministry of Public Security.

The DOJ had specifically accused Mr. Wynn of contacting then-President Donald Trump at various points between June and August 2017 to relay a request by the Chinese regime that the Trump administration revoke a visa or otherwise expel from the United States a Chinese national who had sought asylum in the United States while facing corruption allegations in China.

According to the DOJ complaint, Mr. Wynn’s alleged effort on behalf of the Chinese regime to have this individual expelled from the United States ended unsuccessfully.

Mr. Wynn denied the allegations he worked on behalf of the Chinese regime, and a federal district court judge dismissed the case in October 2022.

The DOJ appealed the dismissal decision to the next highest court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in hopes of reviving the FARA lawsuit.

On Friday, a three-judge panel on the appeals court upheld the lower court’s decision to dismiss the FARA lawsuit against Mr. Wynn. Writing in an 11-page decision for the court, Judge Patricia Millett concluded that any legal duty Mr. Wynn may have once had to register as a foreign agent ended when the alleged foreign agent activity ceased.

“Because, even accepting the government’s allegations as true, Wynn long ago ceased acting as a foreign agent, he has no present obligation to register,” Judge Millett wrote.

The DOJ did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. NTD News will update this article with any responses we receive.

Reuters contributed to this report.