Charles McGonigal, a retired counterintelligence investigator from the FBIs New York Field Office, was just arrested because he allegedly took substantial sums of money from Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire, to get the latter off a U.S. sanctions list. Where this goes beyond the ordinary corruption that periodically crops up among people with too much power, too few morals, and too little accountability is that McGonigal was one of the people investigating Trump over the Russia Hoax, while Deripaska employed Christopher Steele, whose false dossier seeded the Russia Hoax.
Anyone who paid attention during the hot years of the Russia Hoax recognizes Deripaskas name. He was a close ally of Vladimir Putin and, in 2018, the U.S. government sanctioned him for his involvement in Russias 2014 annexation of Crimea. Specifically with regard to the Russia Hoax, in 2021, Jerry Dunleavy summarized how closely allied Steele and Deripaska were:
Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska is known for his ties to President Vladimir Putin, as well as his prior business relationships with Steele and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. [snip]
The Senate Intelligence Committees 1,000-page report last year found that the Russian government coordinates with and directs Deripaska on many of his influence operations.
Steele and his company, Orbis Business Intelligence, worked for Deripaska in 2016, helping recover millions of dollars the Russian oligarch claimed Manafort had stolen from him. Steele sought help in this anti-Trump research effort from Fusion GPS, and the company hired Steele soon after.
The investigation found multiple links between Steele and Deripaska and indications that Deripaska had early knowledge of Steeles work. Steeles continued relationship with Deripaska provid[ed] a potential direct channel for Russian influence on the dossier.
Those multiple links played directly into the Russia Hoax:
An associate of Deripaska seemed in indicate earlier in the year that Deripaska fed information to Christopher Steele, and now Deripaska has confirmed that he was paid by Steele to be a dossier source in a recent interview with The Hills John Solomon.
Deripaskas clearest connection to the dossier is in regards to Source D, Sergei Millian. Source D is who the fictitious golden showers story is attributed to.
Millian met with Deripaska at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum between June 16 and 18th in 2016. Two days after the forum ended, Steele wrote a memo sourcing Millian. According to Chuck Ross, Millians appearance at the St. Petersburg expo, photos of which he posted on Facebook, establishes for the first time that he was in Russia at the time the dossier placed him there as a source. And if Millian did indeed discuss Trump at the conference, that means Steeles direct source was present at the conference.
You really cant have the Russia hoax without Deripaska.
As for McGonigal, he was a staunch James Comey ally, referring to Comey as one of the most loved leaders that weve had in a number of years commanding a leadership role in the FBI. Comey, as a reminder, improperly cleared Hillary of charges connected to her violating national security laws, leaked classified information to jump-start the Russia collusion hoax, and boasted about entrapping General Mike Flynn, resulting in manufactured charges against him.
Loved by some of the troops? Clearly. Honest and faithful to the Constitution? No.
McGonigal spent the two years before his 2018 retirement supervising 150 counterintelligence agents in New York. McGonigal also worked directly on the Russia Hoax. According to the New York Post, he was one of the first FBI agents to learn that a Trump campaign official claimed that the Russians had dirt onthen-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, which triggered the investigation that continued into Donald Trumps presidency. Its unclear, however, whether he first met Deripaska in connection with that investigation.
The charges against McGonigal, who retired from the FBI in 2018, are extremely serious:
McGonigal is charged with violating US sanctions by trying to get Deripaska - who is worth $1.7billion - off the sanctions list in 2019.
He is one of the highest-ranking former FBI officials ever charged with a crime, and was living in a plush $730k West Village apartment before selling it in 2020.
Both McGonigal and [Sergey] Shestakov [an interpreter] are accused of receiving payments through shell companies and forging signatures to keep it secret that Deripaska was paying them.
According to the Justice Department, the pair, who both worked for the FBI and investigated oligarchs, agreed to investigate a rival oligarch in return for payments from Deripaska.
Both men are facing money laundering charges as well as violating sanctions with each of the four counts carrying a maximum of 20 years in prison.
One of the problems flowing from consorting with criminals, which is what law enforcement officers often do, is that those without strong moral compasses are vulnerable to the seemingly easy money associated with working with those same criminals. If the charges against McGonigal stick, he will have been one of those who couldnt be near crime without being corrupted.