How a renegade Chinese billionaire became a center of D.C. intrigue

A billionaire at the center of U.S.-China tensions is waging a mysterious legal battle against two D.C. conservatives over a private espionage deal gone bad. The fight touches on a pair of think tanks, a senator’s widow and the capital’s tight-knit group of China hardliners, adding a new chapter to an international saga that has divided the Trump administration and the president’s external allies. It began when a firm tied to the billionaire, real estate magnate Guo Wengui, allegedly hired a private intelligence firm to dig up dirt on Chinese nationals — including their bank records, porn habits and any illegitimate children — then sued, saying the firm failed to deliver. In turn, the intelligence firm has claimed Guo’s side gave it a thumb drive loaded with sophisticated malware and that he sought information on people whose records were deemed sensitive by the U.S. government.

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