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Attorney General would resign if Guo Wengui was forced to return to China

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鲜花(100) 鸡蛋(1)
发表于 2017-10-26 13:04 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Attorney General Jeff Sessions went to the mat recently against pro-China officials within the Trump administration to prevent the forcible return of a dissident businessman to China.
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According to a person familiar with the issue, Mr. Sessions told administration officials during a meeting this spring that he would resign before agreeing to send back Chinese businessman Guo Wengui, who Beijing says is wanted on corruption charges but who has become a major political thorn in the side of the Chinese Communist Party leadership.
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Mr. Sessions made the resignation threat in the face of pressure from officials at the White House and State Department, who themselves have been the targets of an intense influence operation by China seeking the return of Mr. Guo, a real estate mogul who in January began revealing secrets on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook about what he says is widespread corruption among Chinese leaders.
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& d) }7 K0 b4 p1 I! J* z1 tJustice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle declined to comment when asked about the resignation threat. Department officials, however, said Mr. Sessions confronted a senior Chinese security official, Guo Shengkun, this month during a meeting at the Justice Department on Chinese hacking operations against the dissident.8 @, `* A7 V6 I* O" A% M

$ X$ ^# q0 A: B3 j, jThe resignation threat is part of a bitter internal political battle within the Trump administration over Mr. Guo.+ R$ F$ I  E, |6 O* [  R
China has been pressuring the Trump White House on the matter since earlier this year, using American business leaders with interests in China to lobby the U.S. government.
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! {  v( y# x- U; fThe Wall Street Journal reported this week that Las Vegas casino owner Steve Wynn, who has interests in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macao, presented President Trump with a letter from the Chinese government concerning Mr. Guo. The report said Mr. Trump initially favored deporting Mr. Guo but was dissuaded by other administration officials. Mr. Wynn, through a spokesman, told The Journal that the report about the letter was false.
7 {7 }% z3 l# UThe State Department, through acting Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton, who critics say is a pro-China official, blocked the FBI from arresting two Chinese security officials for violating visa rules in meeting with Mr. Guo this year, The Journal reported. That meeting was part of China’s efforts to force Mr. Guo to return to China and included threats and intimidation." z# L" P  f% w" |3 _2 a

, ?1 j+ \9 p5 E6 RMr. Guo applied for political asylum in the United States last month. Days after he applied, the law firm handling his asylum request was hacked and documents, including the application, were posted on Twitter.- t) M- b# _2 M+ e" ?8 \
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In China, despite censorship, Mr. Guo has garnered an online following of pro-democracy supporters estimated to number in the millions.
, n, \7 t7 `  g: D5 @$ S6 SBut he has been silenced by American social media companies under apparent pressure from China. His hourlong YouTube videos exposing corruption were shut off recently after he was accused of online harassment. Facebook restricted his Chinese-language page, and Twitter blocked his feed to more than 700,000 followers.+ |0 ~1 j3 h* v2 L
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Mr. Guo this week took credit for the retirement of senior Chinese leader Wang Qishan, who stepped down from his position as China’s top anti-corruption official amid allegations from Mr. Guo that Mr. Wang himself was guilty of corruption.
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, ^- W) @0 z0 nMr. Wang, through relatives, is said to own up to $2 billion in California real estate, according to Mr. Guo and reaped millions of dollars by placing two relatives at the helm of the major Chinese conglomerate HNA./ N0 v6 M; ?. Z5 d' L

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