The ghostly specter of Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska isn’t just haunting disgraced former agent Charles McGonigal. It’s wandering through the halls of the J. Edgar Hoover building, throwing shade which gives Christopher Wray the shivers. Especially with congressional investigators breathing down his neck, over the rampant weaponization of the Just Us Department. There are ties to Joe Biden’s mishandled classified documents, too.
McGonigal points to Deripaska
On January 21, former FBI agent Charles McGonigal was hauled away in handcuffs. Charged, along with his Russian diplomat contact Sergei Shestakov, with money laundering and making false statements. Now we know why. All the way back on November 21, 2021, bureau agents armed with a warrant seized all the cell phones, computers, tablets, and similar items from both of them. They did it without telling anyone.
As reported, “the seizure went unnoticed publicly. No details were announced, either by the U.S. Justice Department or by the two men themselves.” Suddenly, eight days later, “a new filing” popped up like a mushroom in the DOJ Foreign Agent database.
That’s where “people and companies who represent foreign principals are legally required to disclose their clients and activities.” Filed by Shestakov, the form listed McGonigal.
NEW: Former CIA officer and FBI special agent @Tracy_Walder worked with ex-FBI official Charles McGonigal, charged this week for secret dealings with sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska + Albanians. Walder described what he was like and major cases potentially in jeopardy: pic.twitter.com/9i6aQvSwMl
— Sasha Ingber (@SashaIngber) January 26, 2023
Shestakov leveraged his career as a Russian diplomat to become a “translator for the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office.” That’s a powerful place for a mole to be burrowed in at. The form filed after the big raid “indicated that a top official from the company belonging to Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska” wanted Shestakov’s assistance. Deripaska is founder of Russia’s Aluminum giant RUSAL. That is really interesting because Hunter Biden tried to sell some intelligence about RUSAL to Alcoa, for a quick $55,000. Recent reports connect his information to the classified documents mishandled by Joe Biden.
Former FBI agent McGonigal was named by Shestakov as his “security professional” on the assignment. The relationship with Deripaska and his agent, Russian official Yevgeny Fokin, was reported as ended by Shestakov “less than a month later.”
Stunning for many reasons
The arrest of McGonigal and Shestakov “has stunned people in U.S. intelligence and law enforcement for multiple reasons.”
Top of the list is the fact that the former agent spent 22 years at the FBI to become “the bureau’s top agent in charge of counterintelligence, supervising and participating in investigations of Russian spies and moles in the United States.” Moles and spies like his business partners.
Deripaska was one of McGonigal’s most active files. former assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York Miriam Baer notes “it definitely shocked me, and here I thought I was unflappable.” She knows from experience how “powerful” Manhattan federal prosecutors’ office is. She knows that McGonigal almost certainly worked with that office as part of his bureau duties. He helped plant a Russian mole into it.
Former @NewYorkFBI cointel chief Charles McGonigal, recently indicted for being a Russian spy, was central to the plan to steal the 2016 election.
The “coup de grace” was James @Comey reopening “her emails.” McGonigal praised Comey the day Comey got fired.
h/t @gal_suburban pic.twitter.com/MgO5g3eMHP
— Jim Stewartson, Antifascist #RIPQ (@jimstewartson) January 27, 2023
The next question that troubles Baer is “whether he acted alone, whether others were aware, and why no one in a premier FBI office picked up on what was going on.”
“If this was a true ‘rogue‘ agent, then perhaps there is no worry of overlap with” cases overseen by the Southern District. That’s not likely. She’s now a professor of law. “If his behavior implicates a broader conspiracy that involves other FBI personnel, then I would think overlap more likely and therefore a greater concern.”
McGonigal was clearly aware that his friends were dangerous threats to national security. “The ability of [Deripaska] to penetrate powerful legal circles and now law enforcement circles is quite amazing,” George Mason University academic Louise Shelley insists. “It is a case of enablers on steroids.“
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