Exclusive: Former top FBI official involved in Trump-Russia investigation under scrutiny by federal prosecutors for his own ties to Russia

By Mattathias Schwartz

Retired FBI agent Charlie McGonigal

A federal grand jury subpoenaed records of any "payments or gifts" that Charles McGonigal, the FBI's former head of counterintelligence in New York, received from foreign governments. Foreign Policy Association; iStock; Rebecca Zisser/Insider

A former high-level FBI agent who was involved in the investigation into the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia during the 2016 election has himself come under scrutiny by federal prosecutors for his ties with Russia and other foreign governments. 

Late last year, according to internal court documents obtained by Insider, US attorneys secretly convened a grand jury that examined the conduct of Charles McGonigal, the former head of counterintelligence at the FBI field office in New York City. The Justice Department declined to comment on what the grand jury was investigating or whether it remained ongoing. But a witness subpoena obtained by Insider seems to indicate that the government, in part, was looking into McGonigal's business dealings with a top aide to Oleg Deripaska, the billionaire Russian oligarch who was at the center of allegations that Russia colluded with the Trump campaign to interfere in the 2016 election.

The subpoena, issued in November, requests records relating to McGonigal and a shadowy consulting firm called Spectrum Risk Solutions. A week after the subpoena was issued, a Soviet-born immigrant named Sergey Shestakov said in a separate filing that McGonigal had helped him "facilitate" an introduction between Spectrum and Deripaska's aide. The filing also states that McGonigal helped introduce the aide to Kobre & Kim, a New York law firm that specializes in representing clients who are being investigated on suspicion of "fraud and misconduct." Shestakov, who has been identified on TV panels as a former Soviet foreign ministry official and former chief of staff to the Soviet ambassador to the United Nations, reported receiving $33,000 for the referrals.

While it wouldn't necessarily have been illegal for McGonigal to work on behalf of Deripaska, failing to disclose activities covered by the Foreign Agents Registration Act, such as lobbying and public relations, is punishable by a $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison. Deripaska was sanctioned by the Treasury Department in 2018 for acting as an agent for the Kremlin, and has been accused of ordering the murder of a businessman. "If McGonigal is mixed up in any way shape or form with Deripaska, that strikes me as unseemly, to put it politely," says Tim Weiner, the author of "Enemies: A History of the FBI."

An attachment to a grand jury subpoena
A witness subpoena obtained by Insider indicates information that federal prosecutors were seeking about former FBI official Charles McGonigal. Insider

Neither McGonigal nor those he is cited as dealing with responded to requests for comment from Insider. "This is not an area where we can provide a statement at this time," a representative for Kobre & Kim said.

It is not clear whether McGonigal is a target of the grand-jury investigation, or simply a subject whose activities are somehow related to it. And there is nothing in the court documents or elsewhere to suggest that McGonigal behaved inappropriately during the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign. But the materials requested in the witness subpoena raise questions about whether a top FBI agent may have been tapping the connections he made during his years of public service for private gain — an all-too-common practice among Washington insiders. And whatever McGonigal's actions, the fact that he has been swept up in a grand-jury investigation is highly unusual. According to a former senior official at the Justice Department who asked not to be identified, prosecutors almost never consider charges against someone so high up in the FBI. "It's very rare that former FBI people at all, and certainly former senior FBI people, wind up as grand-jury targets," the official said.

The federal scrutiny of McGonigal is especially striking given his work at the FBI. Before his retirement in 2018, McGonigal led the WikiLeaks investigation into Chelsea Manning, busted Bill Clinton's national security advisor Sandy Berger for removing classified material from a National Archives reading room, and led the search for a Chinese mole inside the CIA. In 2016, when reports surfaced that Russia had hacked the email system of the Democratic National Committee, McGonigal was serving as chief of the cybercrimes section at FBI headquarters in Washington. In that capacity, he was one of the first officials to learn that a Trump campaign official had bragged that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton, sparking the investigation known as Operation Crossfire Hurricane. Later that year, FBI Director James Comey promoted McGonigal to oversee counterintelligence operations in New York. 

According to the witness subpoena, prosecutors are also looking into whether McGonigal has ties to the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as any "payments or gifts" he was provided by the governments of Kosovo, Montenegro, and Albania.

Edi Rama the Albanian prime minister in Brussels earlier this year

McGonigal used his official FBI letterhead to try and arrange a business meeting with Edi Rama, the prime minister of Albania. Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

Two sources told Insider that McGonigal was close to Edi Rama, who has served as the prime minister of Albania since 2013. According to an email reviewed by Insider, McGonigal used his official FBI email account to try to arrange a meeting between Rama and an American firm the prime minister was thinking about hiring for an anti-corruption initiative. In the end, the FBI didn't give McGonigal approval for the meeting, and it never took place.

A representative for Rama said the prime minister's relationship with McGonigal was "a totally private friendly relationship of no public interest. We have no idea about any grand jury and no US authority has ever contacted us about it. There have never been meetings with firms, gifts, payments, travel reimbursements before or after Mr. McGonigal left his job."

Since he left the FBI, McGonigal has continued to trade on his expertise in counterintelligence. In 2020, months after his reported assistance to Deripaska's aide, he appeared on a panel at the Atlantic Council, where he condemned the corruption of Russia's security services. "You are seeing an erosion in any rule of law as it relates to the FSB," he said. "It would be akin to having in the United States the FBI as a rogue element, operating at the behest of the highest bidder."

McGonigal's profile on LinkedIn says he is the senior vice president of "global security and life safety" at Brookfield Properties, a multibillion-dollar real-estate company in New York. But that information, apparently, is inaccurate. "Charlie McGonigal is no

longer with Brookfield," Andrew Brent, Brookfield's head of communications, told Insider. McGonigal left the company, he added, in early January — just as witnesses were scheduled to appear before the grand jury.

Mattathias Schwartz is a senior correspondent at Insider. 

SOURCE: https://www.businessinsider.com/exclusive-fbi-charles-mcgonigal-trump-russia-grand-jury-oleg-deripaska-2022-9

The FBI.. a Rogue Organization..NO friend of Freedom or the Rule of Law

by Patriots staff

A federal judge recently ordered the release of the Affidavit behind the raid at Trump's residence in Mar-a-Largo.  As expected it was too heavily redacted including the reasons for the raid which begs the question why release anything but a blank piece of paper? How's that for in your face?  DOJ, FBI ‘So Corrupt that They're Redacting their Reasons for Redactions’ in Released Affidavit, ‘Federalist’ CEO Mocks

An FBI agent has already pled guilty to destroying exculpatory evidence to frame a pro-Trump political prisoner demonstrating they are willing to do what it takes to advance the deep state agenda. There is further evidence that the FBI interfered with the 2020 election by pressuring Facebook to suppress the Hunter Biden Laptop story. Isn't this what banana republics and totalitarian regimes do?

How many more abuses will occur before this message gets across to the lame brains that inhabit Congress?  Do you enjoy being spied on by the deep state uniparty ruling Hunta?  The FBI is an out-of-control rogue agency that doesn't work for anything more that the administrative state's desire to intimidate and suppress truth.When will our 'so-called' Congress deal with reality rather than the endless psychoses that they live out each and every day?

Obviously Congress must have refried beans maquerading as brains in their cranial cavaties. The public had better think about where the country is headed. How many more Randy Weaver and/ or WACO incidents will there be before everyone wakes up to the realization that the FBI's charter is not to arrest criminals or stop terrorists but to neutralize political opposition to the administrative state. If they can do this to a former president, they don't like.. what will they do to regular conservatives? When the FBI raids your home as they did in Mesa County Colorado, busting in Tina Peters' front door with a battering ram and in the case of Shironna Bishop, making her sixteen-year-old daughter stand outside their home's front door in her underwear. Don't anybody give me crap about how professional this rat bin is. Cause it ain't!

Following in the footsteps of the late J. Edgar Hoover the agency very likely has real blackmail evidence on every member of Congress, including the known slimy ones. This FBI caper against the former president puts us very close to a full-blown police state. It's time for the loudmouth fools who inhabit government to start taking steps to END the FBI because the corruption is too deep to reform it.

Doing nothing will only embolden Chris Wray et All to commit greater abuses until you won't be able to end it. The TIME to act is NOW!!

HUGE: Federal Judge Begins Process to Appoint Special Master to Review Items Taken From Mar-a-Lago During Jackbooted FBI Raid

FBI Harassed Mother For Speaking Out at School Board Meeting

by Jim Hoft

Last week Republican lawmakers Jim Jordan and Mike Johnson received documents from FBI whistleblowers that reveal the bureau targeted parents who protested CRT and Covid rules despite Attorney General Merrick Garland’s claims it never happened.

One mom was investigated because she belonged to a ‘right-wing group’ called “Moms for Liberty” and because she owned a gun.

Another dad who opposed masks was investigated because he fit the bill of an “insurrectionist” because he “has a lot of guns.”

Last fall, the National School Board Association (NSBA) coordinated with the Biden White House weeks before AG Merrick Garland classified parents “domestic terrorists” in a letter to the FBI.

The NSBA begged Biden to use federal law enforcement agencies against parents and investigate them for “domestic terrorism and hate crime threats.” They shamelessly claim the situation is so dire that he should use the Patriot Act, among other “enforceable actions” against them.

The NSBA begged the Biden Regime to label parents “domestic terrorists” and use the Patriot Act against them.

AG Garland denied this was happening under oath during testimony to lawmakers. But Merrick Garland was lying.

On Monday night Tiffany Justice, the co-founder of Moms for Liberty, spoke with Greg Kelly on Newsmax TV.

Tiffany told Greg Kelly that one of their members were targeted by the FBI back in 2021. One of their members said the FBI field office had reached out to her to ask her questions regarding speaking at a school board meeting. The Moms for Liberty group made the House Judiciary members aware of this in early 2022.

So the FBI was in fact targeting moms for speaking at school board meetings. And Attorney General Merrick Garland lied about this.

Hopefully, Republicans will have the guts to deal with this if/when they take over the House of Representatives next year.