Failure to Disclose: Above the Law Editor’s Massive Conflict of Interest

‘Above The Law’ Editor Fails To Disclose Massive Conflict Of Interest With CCP While Attacking Chinese Dissidents & Miles Guo.

Media outlet “Above The Law” is no doubt lowering its editorial standards by publishing consistent attacks against Miles Guo and his supporters. Articles authored by Joe Patrice repeatedly call into question the authenticity of protests exposing deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) held by law firm Paul Hastings LLP.

A partner at Paul Hastings LLP, Luc Despins, is the Chapter 11 trustee for the estate of Guo. Guo, whose followers have coalesced to form the New Federal State of China (NFSC), has alleged that Despins’ attacks and attempted extortion result from his employer’s ties to the CCP. Law firms are just one of the many parts of American society over which the CCP has expanded its nefarious influence, as prominent firms retain large practices in China. Given these financial and personnel ties, firms like Paul Hastings LLP have no meaningful way to go against the wishes of Beijing. Regardless, why would such firms bite the multi-billion dollar hand that feeds them?

These spontaneous demonstrations in support of Guo and other dissidents across the U.S. seek to educate Americans on the stranglehold over law firms and government agencies possessed by the CCP. This infiltration is part of Beijing’s broader and well-documented strategy of political warfare, using money, power, and blackmail to wholly compromise America’s elite. Lawfare is just one tactic used by the CCP to exploit America’s legal system in an effort to obstruct and undermine the country from within.

The CCP’s encroachment upon America’s legal system threatens the very principles of freedom and the rule of law upon which the country was founded, and its attacks on Guo and his supporters from writers like Patrice help to erode these fundamental values.

Joe Patrice of Above the Law

So, why is Patrice appearing to aid and abet the CCP’s smear campaign against Guo? Perhaps, his former employer can provide some insight.

Patrice worked as an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP for over two years before beginning to pursue a career in media. While working at the New York-based firm, he explains on his LinkedIn profile, he “represented clients in white-collar defense, government investigations, foreign sovereign actions, trademark, and private securities claims.”

Patrice’s former firm retains many ties to the CCP through its robust practice in Beijing. One Chinese state-run entity with which the firm appears to have a relationship is Pacific Alliance Group (PAG), an investment firm chaired by Shan Weijan. A sizable conflict of interest in considering Patrice’s writing on Guo arises from the fact that Shan has repeatedly sued Guo. More, Guo alleges that Shan is a CCP spy spearheading the “extermination operation” against the Whistleblower Movement in the U.S.

It’s suspicious, therefore, that Patrice’s former firm has repeatedly represented PAG on billion-dollar deals.

In 2015, for example, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP represented a consortium, including PAG Asia Capital, in the acquisition of Cushman & Wakefield by the consortium’s portfolio company, DTZ. The deal was worth $1.1 billion.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP even represented PAG Asia Capital as a principal shareholder in Cushman & Wakefield during its over $750 million initial public offering. This lucrative relationship did not end there, as they represented PAG Asia Capital as a selling shareholder in an underwritten public offering of 12.5 million ordinary shares in 2021. Patrice’s former firm also acted as counsel to PAG Asia Capital as a selling shareholder in another Cushman & Wakefield underwritten public offering of 10 million ordinary shares in 2019.

As the New Federal State of China prides itself on being the CCP’s “number one enemy,” it’s curious that the former employer of a writer now consistently attacking the group worked on behalf of companies suing Guo.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, for example, represented Sequoia Capital in a $1.15 billion investment in Citadel Securities. Sequoia has deep ties to Beijing through many of its investments and high-level executives such as Neil Shen.

Patrice’s former employer also advised TPG on its equity investment in China International Capital Corp (CICC), and it even represented the Bank of China as part of a group negotiating a global bond deal with the Philippines. Both entities are state-run.

Similarly, the firm was awarded a “Deal of the Year” award by the China Business Law Journal in 2016 for its work with Sinopec, a state-owned energy and natural gas firm. “In one of the largest Chinese investments ever made in a Russian business, and the largest agreed to in 2016,” Patrice’s former employer represented a company selling 10 percent of its shares to the company Silk Road Fund, a Chinese state-owned investment fund. The fund seeks to ensure the expansion and success of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to export the CCP’s power abroad through curated investments and loans.

In Patrice’s articles, however, none of these apparent conflicts of interest are disclosed. Patrice also appeared to try absolving the CCP of blame for birthing COVID-19 into the world. “We all caught it from other countries! China…was not the issue, man,” Patrice tweeted in October 2020 in reference to the virus. “I’ve never understood why the GOP thinks this ‘Trump suspended all travel from China’ helps them. Sure… and then we all got it from Europe,” he added.

Patrice has also attacked those who believe COVID-19 was a “Chinese bioweapon” as “conspiracy theorists” and uncritically spread talking points from Beijing about their global emissions, alleging that “China is on track to run ahead of pace on its Paris commitments.”

Natalie Winters is the Co-host and Executive Editor of Bannon’s War Room.





The opinions of Natalie Winters and Bannon’s War Room do not necessarily represent the opinions of Kelly John Walker or FreedomTalk.


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