Charles McGonigal, the counterintelligence chief in the New York City FBI Office until 2018, apparently sold out for the low, low price of $225K, before going to work for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, in violation of U.S. sanctions.
January 23, 2023

The Department of Justice unveiled charges against Charles McGonigal, former head of counterintelligence in the FBI's New York City office, for violating U.S. sanctions against Russia, and also for receiving payments of $225,000 from a former employee of the Albanian foreign intelligence service.

They don't say the word bribe, but let's get real. That's what this is.

Back in September of last year, Susie Madrak reported on a story that the former head of counterintelligence in the FBI's New York City office was under investigation for flirting with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and possibly taking “payments or gifts” from the governments of Kosovo, Montenegro, and Albania. At that time, she wrote:

Let me be clear. McGonigal, who was chief of the NYC office's counterintelligence division, is only under investigation for making money from the Russians. Well, he made money from several countries. That doesn't prove he's a spy. The lack of disclosure makes him unethical. (So far.)

But the Russians famously throw business in the direction of people they want to compromise. Let's put it this way: It's possible that a former FBI counterintelligence agent got under the covers with known Russian "malign influence" agent Oleg Deripaska and remained a virgin.

It just doesn't seem likely.

And lo, it was not likely. In fact, it looks like he was on the take for the last 2 years of his time with the FBI, and I strongly suspect his "retirement" was the product of the investigation into his flirtation with Russian oligarchs.

Let's begin with the nine-count indictment for taking money from a foreign intelligence agent while McGonigal was still the head of counterintelligence at the FBI.

The indictment says that beginning in August 2017 and continuing beyond his retirement in September 2018, he requested and received at least $225,000 in cash from a former foreign security officer for the Albanian government and businessperson who had business interests in foreign countries and before foreign governments. McGonigal also traveled abroad with the former former intelligence officer, meeting with foreign nationals.

Later, the foreign intelligence officer served as an FBI source in a criminal investigation involving foreign political lobbying which McGonigal was overseeing.

Additionally, McGonigal is accused of engaging in other official conduct as an FBI Special Agent in Charge that he thought would help the businessperson financially.


But wait, there's more! McGonigal is also accused of dancing with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska -- the same oligarch who invested millions in Kentucky in 2018. Deripaska is also the oligarch suspected of meddling in the 2016 election to tilt it to Donald Trump and away from Hillary Clinton.

Well, now. Via the DOJ:

In 2021, McGonigal and Shestakov conspired to provide services to Deripaska, in violation of U.S. sanctions imposed on Deripaska in 2018. Specifically, following their negotiations with an agent of Deripaska, McGonigal and Shestakov agreed to and did investigate a rival Russian oligarch in return for concealed payments from Deripaska. As part of their negotiations with Deripaska’s agent, McGonigal, Shestakov and the agent attempted to conceal Deripaska’s involvement by, among other means, not directly naming Deripaska in electronic communications, using shell companies as counterparties in the contract that outlined the services to be performed, using a forged signature on that contract and using the same shell companies to send and receive payment from Deripaska.

Of course, an indictment is not a conviction, but this one seems pretty solid. Read the indictment document below because it involves getting the daughter of a friend of Deripaska's a job at the NYPD, money laundering and more. If it was a script, Hollywood would refuse it on the basis that it was too fantastic for audiences to accept.

One last personal point of privilege, as long as we're on the subject. The New York FBI office was the nexus for all of the leaks that did deep harm to Hillary Clinton, and at the time I thought it was an outrageous abuse of power on the part of the leaders in that office.

Do you see the common link? We have an FBI that's fully and totally out of control, with a whole bunch of agents leaking bullsh*t stories 5 days ahead of an election exclusively to Murdoch-owned media outlets.The Wall Street Journal article at least tries to incorporate the competing narratives into one. I'll summarize for you.

  1. Some FBI guys in the New York office wanted a witch hunt
  2. The FBI guys were rabid because of Schweitzer's Clinton Cash book which Trump campaign CEO Stephen Bannon funded with right wing tax deductible dollars.
  3. DOJ and public corruption lawyers said nope, you've got nothing. Give it up, stand down.
  4. Some agents who are still on the public payroll refuse to accept that verdict.
  5. FBI is now leaking like a sieve to Murdoch news organizations (and Murdoch organizations alone) because they have nothing left but going rogue.

As a reminder, that book they used as a source for opening an investigation -- Clinton Cash -- was partially paid for with taxpayer dollars, since the donor billionaires paid the bill by giving millions to a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) faux charity known as the Government Accountability Institute.

I pointed at James Kallstrom, but it's far more likely that the leaks came from McGonigal to him to Fox News. And that should outrage us all.

Lock. Him. The. Fuck. Up.

For a very long time.

Also, let's thank the New York Times for this:

U.S. v. Mcgonigal and Shestakov Indictment by Karoli on Scribd

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