Israeli analyst charged by US with being covert China agent

Luft is accused of recruiting and paying a former high-ranking US government official on behalf of principals based in China in 2016


An US-Israeli analyst has been charged with acting as a Chinese agent and attempting to broker the sale of weapons and Iranian oil.

US authorities announced covert lobbying and arms dealing charges against Gal Luft who has accused President Joe Biden's son of corruption.

A statement from the US Justice Department said Luft "subverted foreign agent registration laws in the United States to seek to promote Chinese policies by acting through a former high-ranking US Government official."

Federal prosecutors in New York charged Luft, the head of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security think tank, of engaging "in multiple, serious, criminal schemes”.

The Institute describes itself as focused on energy and US security. It was co-founded by Luft and lists former CIA Director James Woolsey as an adviser.

The statement went on to say Luft "acted as a broker in deals for dangerous weapons and Iranian oil; and he told multiple lies about his crimes to law enforcement.”

It comes as Luft has levelled allegations of corruption against Biden’s family including son Hunter, and Republican politicians called the charges against Luft an attempt to intimidate a key witness. 

Luft was arrested in February in Cyprus on US charges, but fled after he was released on bail awaiting extradition proceedings, prosecutors said.

He remains at large and the US Justice Department is asking for information on his whereabouts.

Luft said in 2019 that he provided evidence to US Justice Department and FBI officials on what he said were Biden family financial transactions with the Chinese energy conglomerate CEFC.

Republican Senator Ron Johnson accused Biden’s administration of a coverup. Speaking to Fox News, he said: “He's got a wealth of information. 

“But they never followed up on that meeting. Instead, they arrested him in Cyprus to silence him."

With Biden ramping up his bid for a second term as president in the 2024 election, in May Republicans in Congress accused the Biden family of pocketing more than $10 million from dealings with Chinese and Romanian firms - though they offered little evidence.

These accusations are part of a long-running campaign targeting Hunter Biden, the president's son and only surviving child of his first marriage.

Republicans accuse Hunter Biden of capitalising on his father's influence when he served as vice President under Barack Obama in order to engage in shady dealings in several countries. Hunter denies the accusations.

If found guilty, Luft faces decades in prison.

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