Former senior FBI agent Charles McGonigal, who was part of the Russia collusion investigation against former President Donald Trump, is expected to plead guilty to charges that he violated sanctions against a Russian oligarch, Breitbart reported. A plea proceeding is set for Aug. 15.
During the phony investigation into Russia collusion, McGonigal was a high-ranking counterintelligence official. Now it's believed he was working for Oleg Deripaska in violation of American policy.
Deripaska was sanctioned as part of a 2018 policy that included at least two dozen of his fellow oligarchs. As founder of Rusal, the Russian aluminum company, Deripaska was once one of the country's richest men.
Despite the fact that he retired in 2018, McGonigal had pushed to remove sanctions from Deripaska in 2019. Now the 54-year-old former official is charged with money laundering and evading U.S.-imposed sanctions.
Legal entanglements for both men don't stop in this case, however. Both are caught up in renewed efforts by the U.S. government to punish Russian corruption in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
McGonigal is facing other charges in a Washington, D.C. case for allegedly hiding $225,000 in kickbacks from a former Albanian intelligence official. His attorney expects that he will avoid trial in that one as well.
Meanwhile, Deripaska is under investigation by the U.S. Treasury Department for racketeering, extortion, and money laundering. He also allegedly has ties to the Russian mafia and crimes, including murder.
The news that McGonigal was allegedly on Deripaska's payroll comes years after the left peddled the narrative that Trump was being controlled by Russia. It also comes after the entire investigation was revealed to be a sham.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who is now being censured, was the face of the investigation dubbed Crossfire Hurricane, Fox News reported. He repeated the claim to any news network that would listen that there was "evidence" that Trump worked with Russia to get him elected during the 2016 presidential campaign.
However, Special Counsel John Durham's probe into the operation has revealed it was completely false. The initial investigation used "raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence."
It's since been found that the FBI jumped the gun by going all-in on the investigation using flimsy evidence. The investigation hinged on the Steele dossier, which was nothing more than opposition research that had no truth in it.
Both the Durham and the Mueller investigation turned up nothing when it came to the claims contained within. With McGonigal's criminal charges, it's now apparent that there were many involved who had a vested interest in doing this to Trump.
Although the timeline might not line up for McGonigal, it's quite curious that someone so high up in the FBI during the Trump Russia investigation would turn out to have strong ties to a Russian billionaire. Coupled with the fact that FBI officials, politicians, and other actors also wanted Trump out of office, it's difficult to see the investigation as anything but a political hatchet job.
Intelligence agencies are increasingly proving to be corrupt and infiltrated by anti-American, self-serving individuals. Every investigation that comes from one of their probes should be eyed with skepticism on that fact alone, especially when centered around Trump.