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‘Missing witness’ accusing Biden of corruption in China is accused of being a China agent

<span>Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP</span>” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/kj84P3Q1_tM5AoTbnMhYcQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTQyMw–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/the_guardian_765/a0e9343f8fb4dbe57 96339c8c104e2a2″ data-src= “https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/kj84P3Q1_tM5AoTbnMhYcQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTQyMw–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/the_guardian_765/a0e9343f8fb4dbe579633 9c8c104e2a2″/><button class=

Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

A US think tank chief who accuses Joe Biden of China-related corruption involving his son Hunter Biden, and who has been suggested by Republicans as a “missing” witness against the president, was charged with China-related crimes, including failing to register as a foreign agent, arms trade and sanctions violations against Iran.

Gal Luft, 57 and a dual US-Israeli citizen, is co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), located in Maryland, near Washington.

An indictment handed down in November was unsealed on Monday, describing Luft as a fugitive, who had skipped bail in Cyprus in April awaiting extradition.

Announcing the indictment, Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said Luft was “involved in multiple, serious criminal schemes.

“He undermined foreign agent registration laws in the United States to promote Chinese policies by acting through a former senior US government official; he acted as a go-between in deals for dangerous weapons and Iranian oil; and he told multiple lies about his crimes to law enforcement.

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News of the allegations seemed guaranteed to infuriate Republicans in Congress who sought to use Hunter Biden’s troubled personal life and business dealings for attacks on his father, possibly including attempts to initiate impeachment proceedings.

Last Friday James Comer of Kentucky, chairman of the House oversight committee, told the right-wing network Newsmax Luft was “a credible witness that the FBI flew all the way to Brussels to interview and sent several agents to interview.”

Luft previously denied wrongdoing in a video published by the New York Post. He was arrested, he claimed, to avoid testifying before Comer’s committee about alleged China-related corruption involving the Bidens.

“I’m not a Republican,” Luft said. “I am not a Democrat. I have no political motive or agenda… I did it out of deep concern that if the Bidens came to power, the country would face the same traumatic Russian collusion scandal [the investigation of Russian election interference and links between Donald Trump and Moscow] only this time with China.”

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Saying he “warned the [US] government about a potential risk to the integrity of the 2020 election,” Luft added: “Ask yourself, who is the real criminal in this story?”

He skipped bail, he said, “because I didn’t believe I would get a fair trial in a New York court”.

In New York, prosecutors claim that Luft “agrees[d] to covertly recruit and pay a former senior US government official on behalf of China-based clients… including in 2016 when the former official was an adviser to the then president-elect [Trump]to publicly support certain policies regarding China.”

The former official and an alleged Chinese co-conspirator were not named.

Luft also allegedly “conspired … to broker illegal arms transactions with, among others, certain Chinese individuals and entities”; conspiring with a Chinese energy company “to make deals for Iranian oil – which he instructed an associate to refer to as ‘Brazilian’ oil in an attempt to evade … sanctions”; and having made “multiple false statements” to law enforcement.

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The SDNY listed maximum prison terms for the charges against Luft ranging from five years for conspiracy to violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act to 20 years for gun trafficking offenses and sanctions violations.

The SDNY noted Luft’s “fugitive” status and asked those with information on his whereabouts to contact the FBI or the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

In a statement, IAGS said: “Gal is a man of total integrity and honesty. We have faith in his innocence.”

Tim Miller, a Republican operative who “Never Became a Trumper,” said: “So the man who supposedly whistled at Biden taking payments from foreigners was actually paying Trump administration officials on behalf of China himself!! Could this be more on the nose?

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