In a bizarre twist, former FBI Counterintelligence Division special agent Charles McGonigal was arrested and charged this week for his alleged ties to a sanctioned Russian oligarch, all while he had been in charge of the Trump-Russia investigation! Talk about an awkward case of investigating yourself. The irony was not lost on Russian President Vladimir Putin, who tweeted: “I guess if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”
McGonigal, 54, and former Soviet/Russian diplomat Sergey Shestakov, 69, were both arrested Saturday and charged with violating U.S. sanctions by agreeing to provide services to Oleg Deripaska. But the real kicker here is that McGonigal was one of the first FBI officials to learn of allegations that George Papadopoulos had boasted that he knew Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton – the same man he was now investigating!
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams had this to say: “This Office will continue to prosecute those who violate U.S. sanctions enacted in response to Russian belligerence in Ukraine in order to line their own pockets.”
Meanwhile, FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll warned: “Russian oligarchs like Oleg Deripaska perform global malign influence on behalf of the Kremlin and are associated with acts of bribery, extortion, and violence.”
So, if you’re considering trying to dodge U.S. sanctions, it’s probably best to not be in charge of the investigation!
Let this be a lesson to all: don’t mess with the United States’ sanctions, or you’ll end up investigating yourself in a far from ideal situation. So remember: if you want to stay out of trouble, keep it above-board and don’t “Deripaska” the consequences of your actions.