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FBI official indicted for taking dirty Russian money – and it may finally blow the lid off the Trump Russia scandal

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When the DOJ criminally indicted former FBI official Charles McGonigal on Monday, it took me a minute to find the right words to write about it, because of just how monumental this story is. McGonigal has been indicted for taking dirty money from Putin-aligned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, which is shocking when you consider that McGonigal was one of the FBI officials in charge of investigating the connections between Donald Trump and Russia. But that may just be the start of how big this is.

For one thing, it raises questions about just how long McGonigal was working for the Russians. Did he try to sabotage the Trump-Russia investigation from within? Is that part of why the Trump-Russia probe, which started strong with so many indictments, ended up falling apart before reaching any of the bigger fish? But there’s more.

McGonigal worked in the FBI’s New York field office. This is the same field office that is widely believed to have forced James Comey to go public with the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, for fear that field office would leak it. This is the same field office that Rudy Giuliani publicly bragged he’d been illegally getting inside information from. Were these leaks also McGonigal’s handiwork? Is that why they were always so well-timed in Trump’s favor? And was McGonigal behind the now-infamous New York Times article published during the 2016 election cycle, which falsely claimed that the FBI had found no connection between Trump and Russia?

Come to think of it, I’ve spent the past half a year pointing out someone within the DOJ seemed to be feeding one suspicious pro-Republican leak to the media after another. There was the leak about Matt Gaetz supposedly being off the hook, which was apparently fictional, given that the FBI never did issue a declination letter. There was the leak about there supposedly being enough evidence to charge Hunter Biden, which was also apparently fictional, given that he never was charged.


These leaks, all aimed at making Republicans look good or making Democrats look bad, and none of them ever substantiated by any subsequent reporting, have long stood out as suspicious. And now the DOJ has criminally indicted a top FBI official, whose field office has a history of similarly suspicious pro-Republican leaks, for having been on a Russian oligarch’s payroll.

It’s not difficult to see just how big this could end up being. It gets even more mind boggling when you consider that McGonigal, by virtue of having worked for the Feds, knows full well that he’s extremely unlikely to win at trial. So even if he’s afraid to flip on Deripaska, there’s a good chance he’ll decide to flip on other DOJ/FBI personnel who were involved, and anyone in Trump world he was conspiring with. This indictment just blew the lid off something major – and we’re about to start finding out what it is.

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