A recording of Obama era Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson soliciting controversial Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui for legal representation for his immigration woes emerged over the weekend.
Johnson, who since the end of President Barack Obama’s term has returned to eminent New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, can be heard listening to Guo explain his perilous visa situation and offers the potential services of himself and his firm, referring to an upcoming meeting with FBI investigators.
“You are somebody I want to help. You and your family and your lovely wife, I want to help you,” Johnson can be heard saying before turning to his ties within the federal government to make his pitch.
“I am the only member of Barack Obama’s cabinet that has met with Donald Trump,” Johnson tells Guo in the recording. “I wrote him a personal letter yesterday.”
It is unclear from the tape, which appears to be heavily edited, to which president Johnson is referring, but he then brags that he can get Guo “a pair of cufflinks from the secret service.”
Johnson emphatically insists multiple times that Guo not tell anyone about their meeting. “This is the point at which – nothing – you never met this man. You never talked to him,” an unidentified female voice tells Guo of Johnson.
Johnson advises Guo to meet with the FBI, with him present, before he speaks to any representative of the Chinese government.
A spokesman from Paul, Weiss confirmed to Breitbart News the identities of the voices in the recording and noted that neither Johnson nor the firm had eventually taken Guo on as a client. The statement read:
A meeting between Mr. Kwok [an alias of Mr. Guo] and Secretary Johnson several months ago about a possible representation appears to have been recorded and released on YouTube. Secretary Johnson and the firm did not take on the representation. We have no information about the circumstances in which the recording was made.
“I don’t think you need to worry about Donald Trump,” the unidentified female voice jokes. She then mentions that Guo, to whom she refers as Miles, is a member of the Trump Organization-owned Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, FL, and that “I made that happen.”
Guo, a Chinese business tycoon in self-imposed exile in New York City, has emerged as a frequent critic of the current Communist Party leadership in the People’s Republic of China under the adopted name Miles Kwok. He accuses a bevy of officials loyal to current General Secretary Xi Jinping of rampant corruption. As a May feature in the New York Times put it, “Mr. Guo’s allegations are unproved, and some of his claims have been outlandish and easily debunked.”
Guo was rumored to have much warmer relations with the regime of Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao.
The social media campaign he wages from his reputed $78 million New York City apartment is by no means the beginning of Guo’s hijinx. In 2008, he was reported to be behind the release of an hour-long sex tape between a Beijing Vice-Mayor who opposed one of Guo’s developments and a mistress. The tape ended the official’s career.
Guo is not himself without allegations against him. In China, his subordinates are facing lengthy prison terms after being convicted on bribery and corruption charges. In America, he faces billions of dollars in liability in lawsuits brought by Chinese. In a video that emerged in April, a jailed ex-Chinese spy can be seen making a lengthy “confession” that further implicates Guo. It is rumored Guo, with a looming INTERPOL warrant for his arrest, is facing prosecution should he return to China, may be seeking asylum in the United States, which would explain why he may have sought to enlist the help of a personage like Secretary Johnson.
The exact means by which the Johnson recording was made and brought to light are unclear. A source familiar with Mr. Guo’s activities in China told Breitbart News Guo records many if not all his business dealings. The source suggested it may have emerged as part of Guo’s legal troubles in his native country.