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Former FBI agent Charles McGonigal was arrested on Saturday for alleged ties to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire who has been sanctioned by the United States and criminally charged last year with violating those sanctions. The charges against McGonigal are related to Deripaska’s activities, including his attempts at global malign influence on behalf of the Kremlin.

In a statement, Michael Driscoll, the FBI assistant director in charge, said that sanctions must be enforced equally against all U.S. citizens in order to be successful and that there are no exceptions for anyone, including former FBI officials like Mr. McGonigal. This is the latest development in what has been an ongoing investigation into Trump-Russian collusion which started during the 2016 election cycle and has since picked up pace as more evidence comes to light regarding Russia’s attempts at political interference.

“Russian oligarchs like Oleg Deripaska perform global malign influence on behalf of the Kremlin and are associated with acts of bribery, extortion, and violence,” Driscoll said. “As alleged, Mr. McGonigal and Mr. Shestakov, both U.S. citizens, acted on behalf of Deripaska and fraudulently used a U.S. entity to obscure their activity in violation of U.S. sanctions. After sanctions are imposed, they must be enforced equally against all U.S. citizens in order to be successful. There are no exceptions for anyone, including a former FBI official like Mr. McGonigal.”

The Department of Justice believes that McGonigal used a US entity to obscure his activity and thereby violated US sanctions against Deripaska. These actions show not only a disregard for US law but also demonstrate Russia’s willingness to use illicit methods when attempting to achieve its geopolitical objectives. Furthermore, it serves as a reminder that our government needs to remain vigilant in defending our national security and safeguarding our democratic institutions from foreign interference.


Daniel is a conservative syndicated opinion writer and amateur theologian. He writes about topics of politics, culture, freedom, and faith.

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