Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Tuesday, January 24, 2023

I'll repost the George (Whoever He Is) Santos piece later. This story is far more important.


Former senior FBI official accused of working for Russian he investigated 

Charles McGonigal, a former counterintelligence chief, is also accused of taking $225,000 from a former Albanian intelligence worker while still at the FBI NEW YORK — The FBI’s former top spy hunter in New York was charged Monday with taking secret cash payments of more than $225,000 while overseeing highly sensitive cases, and breaking the law by trying to get Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska removed from a U.S. sanctions list — accusations that shocked the cloistered world of his fellow high-ranking intelligence officials. 


 The name of Deripaska, a politically connected billionaire, came up repeatedly in recent U.S. investigations involving Russia and the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump. Deripaska did business for years with Paul Manafort, whose tenure as Trump’s campaign chairman became an intense focus of FBI investigations. Manafort and Deripaska have both confirmed that they had a business relationship in which Manafort was paid as an investment consultant. In 2014, Deripaska accused Manafort in a Cayman Islands court of taking nearly $19 million intended for investments without accounting for how they were used.

From a friend who sent this to me in an email:

"Inquiring minds want to know if Mitch McConnell was ever investigated over the reasons why he personally got Oleg Deripaska removed from the sanctions list well after it became pubic information, confirmed by the FBI, that Deripaska was neck deep in the Russian plot to influence the 2016 election in favor of Trump. 

Are we to believe that it was just coincidence that Deripaska had paid Paul Manafort over $12 million to be his political fixer, in Ukraine, when Manafort became the Trump campaign manager in 2016 while still on the Deripaska payroll, and that Manafort secured the nomination for Trump? 

 Are we to believe it was some kind of odd coincidence that Deripaska announced the he would be making a $200 million investment in an aluminum smelter in McConnell's bottom feeding State of Kentucky on the very day that his removal from the sanctions list was announced by McConnell's Senate office? 

Was there an FBI investigation into how much money Deripaska funneled into the coffers of the Republican party PACs by way of straw donors? 

 It must be some kind of weird coincidence that Republican Rod Rosenstein forbade Robert Mueller's investigation from following the money during the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election, an election cycle in which the National Rifle Association laundered an estimated $30 million contributed by Russian sources into Republican campaigns. 

 McGonigal is just the tip of the iceberg."

And this:

"I have been known to speculate that the last chapter of Trump's association with Russian mob figures and oligarchs since the late 1980's, when they colluded to launder money into Trump's real estate deals, will be the release of Putin's full dossier on him when the last drop of utility has been wrung from owning a 'president' of the USA as a final embarrassing blow to our prestige. 

 I don't expect that to occur until Trump has ripped the Republican party in two by taking the MAGAs with him when he fails to get support for his nomination from the party in the midst of his various criminal trials, and the Republican led House fails to curb Biden's commitments to support Ukraine through to Russia's defeat. 

 I do expect that Putin has amused himself with contemplating the impact of the dossier on America's self image as he struggles with the personal scope of the strategic blunder of a losing war he is so irrevocably enmeshed in. 

 At the least I am amused when contemplating such a fatal body blow to America's worst 'president' and what that would mean for the Republican Party as the leadership contemplates Putin releasing all of his Republican dossiers when they fail him too."


Shaw Kenawe said...

Heather Cox Richardson:

"On Saturday, authorities from the Department of Justice arrested Charles McGonigal...McGonigal worked for the FBI from 1996 to 2018...Director James Comey named McGonigal the head of counterintelligence for the FBI’s New York field office...McGonigal supervised and participated in investigations of Russian oligarchs...Charges against McGonigal—stem from his connection to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin (and)...Paul Manafort...convicted...of crimes associated with his ties to Russia. McGonigal is charged with violating sanctions by taking money from Deripaska to investigate one of his rivals, and with money laundering... of hiding multiple cash payments from a foreign intelligence official and of trying to get the sanctions on Deripaska removed.

While there is a lot we still don’t know, we do know that in 2018, Comey told Congress he worried that officials in the FBI’s New York field office had given Trump ally Rudy Giuliani sensitive information in the last days of the 2016 election, after Giuliani had said so in front of television cameras. We know that Comey told investigators that he released news of the reopened investigation of Clinton’s emails—against Department of Justice policy—out of concern that “people in New York” would leak that information. Former acting attorney general Sally Yates was clearer. She told the inspector general that Comey and other FBI officials “felt confident that the New York Field Office would leak it and that it would come out regardless of whether he advised Congress or not.”'

We also know that after McGonigal left the FBI, he went to work for Brookfield Properties, the multibillion-dollar real-estate company in New York that handled the bailout of Jared Kushner’s 666 Fifth Avenue by a $1.1 billion, 99-year lease—all paid up front—thanks to the Qatar Investment Authority...None of those things is currently on the table in the indictments, and they might not turn out to be significant. But my guess is that this case will continue to develop."

Shaw Kenawe said...

Wall Street Journal:

"The U.S. Treasury Department told Congress on Wednesday it will remove sanctions imposed on three Russian companies tied to an oligarch.

The companies—aluminum giant United Co. Rusal PLC, its parent EN+ Group PLC and JSC EuroSibEnergo, a Russian energy company—were put on the U.S. sanctions list in April because of their ownership or control by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

Mr. Deripaska remains under sanctions, but the companies agreed to a sweeping deal centered on severing his ties with them that will result in their removal from the blacklist, the Treasury said.

The removals, expected to take place in 30 days, are based on a change in factual circumstances “in line with longstanding U.S. sanctions precedent” that “is not intended to significantly alter U.S. foreign policy,” the Treasury said in a letter to Congress."

None the less the initiative to remove Deripaska's companies from the sanctions list originated with Mitch McConnell.

Shaw Kenawe said...

The above WSJ article was from December 2018.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Kaivan Shroff

Just to be clear, when the New York Times reported that the FBI saw “no link between Trump and Russia” — a week before the 2016 election — the FBI agent who was just arrested over ties to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska was heading up the investigation.

Ray Cranston said...

So, the guy who said he found no link between Trump and Russia was actually on the Russian payroll at the time. Damn.

Just the tip of the ice berg is right! We will soon find out more how much damage that dirty bastard Trump did to our country. This should sicken every American.

Grey One talks sass said...

I follow a few lawyers on Twitter (don't have account myself but I can read!) The Twittersphere is abuzz with this news. Thank you for blogging about it Shaw.

I've no idea where any of this information will lead but the weird sinking feeling I've felt in the pit of my stomach since the 2016 election has eased up a bit. Instead I have the "Ha! I knew there was something going on" feeling along with a hope for some people finding out.

I'm doing my best to live up to myself so to those who decided to destroy the country I love I can only say this - May what happens next be aligned with For the Good of All and May it Harm None with the following caveat: Harm and Hurt are not the same thing and I hope what happens next hurts as much as I've hurt for the past six years.

Dave Miller said...

Ms. Shaw... But joey B and Obama. And the flat tax. Open borders. people who refuse to work. Look how much inflation we have now. All the crooks. Taking our money and giving it away.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Grey One talks sass Amen!

Following the money always leads to cheating, lying, and treasonous scoundrels.

Certain members of the GQP House (See Boebert, Lauren) were screaming "DEFUND THE FBI!" Now I understand why.

Eventually the truth will out. "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

Now, more than ever.

Shaw Kenawe said...


This is a very big story. Where it leads to, we will eventually find out.

Trump's sons own words on where they got their financing when American banks wouldn't touch their corrupt dealings:

Eric Trump in 2014: ‘We have all the funding we need out of Russia

From a Hill report, 5/7/2017:

"President Trump’s son, Eric, once told a golf writer that funding for Trump golf courses come from Russia, that writer recounted in a new interview.

James Dodson during an interview Friday with Boston’s WBUR described meeting Donald Trump in 2014 and being invited to play golf at the Trump National Golf Club Charlotte.

He said asked Donald Trump how he was paying for his courses, and the now-president “sort of tossed off that he had access to $100 million,” Dodson said in the interview.

Dodson said he then questioned Eric Trump, who was along for the day.

”I said, ‘Eric, who’s funding? I know no banks — because of the recession, the Great Recession — have touched a golf course. You know, no one’s funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years,’” the writers told WBUR.

“And this is what he said. He said, ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’ I said, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.’”

Anonymous said...

Prestige? HA!

That went out the window the moment tRump was nominated in 2016 and the party brass threw their weight behind him, and then sold the country's soul suporting the lying crook, and cheat. It has not returned and likely will not.

It is looking like the never existing American exceptionalism is showing its true self in neon lights for all to see.

Perhaps two or three generations out things migt be different. Who knows? It's for them to determine. But what we're teaching by our examples today doesn't bode well for the future.