Retired Intelligence: The Arrest of FBI Agent Charles McGonigal and Its

Alan Cunningham, an Illicit Finance Analyst with Ernst & Young and a Senior Research Fellow with the political think tank Quo Vademus, says that the recent arrest of a retired FBI agent on charges related to corruption and money-laundering should prompt a reconsideration of how much security-related power and ability retirees from the national security workforce should have or be allowed to exercise…

Corruption was endemic throughout the Trump administration. Throughout the entire length of his administration, corruption and high turnover was a daily occurrence, threatening the strength and integrity of government institutions and, in some cases, indirectly resulting in the deaths of Americans.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was in no way immune to allegations of corruption, partisanship, and favoritism throughout the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and during the Trump presidency; from making public statements vilifying the Bureau and cleaning out the entire U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) with political appointees and forcing removals, the Bureau and DOJ had likely never faced an antagonistic a presidency since Richard Nixon in the 1970s.

The antagonism between the Bureau and Trump was intense and the effects of the FBI’s investigation into Trump can still be felt today. One of the latest and most impactful turns in this investigation has been the arrest of Charles McGonigal.

McGonigal’s Investigation

Charles McGonigal is likely a name known to few people outside of those select individuals of the public and media who have been paying attention quite closely to the Russia investigation. However, few other agents played as large a role as he has in the collusion investigation between Trump and Russian agents.

From 2016 to 2018, McGonigal was the Special Agent-in-Charge (SAC) of the Counterintelligence (CI) Division for the New York Field Office (NYO). Having been appointed to the SAC position in October of 2016, he had been an FBI agent since 1996 and had served in New York, Cleveland, Ohio, FBI headquarters, and at the Washington Field Office (FO) investigating Russian organized crime, foreign intelligence entities (FIEs), international terrorism, and espionage. Practically his entire time with the Bureau was focused on espionage and rooting out foreign intelligence agents.

Having been appointed to be the lead agent for all counterintelligence operations in October of 2016, McGonigal was appointed to the position right before the Bureau determined to re-open the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email servers, and prior to his appointment, when he had been the “chief of the cybercrimes section at FBI headquarters … he was one of the first officials to learn that a Trump campaign official had bragged that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton, sparking the investigation known as Operation Crossfire Hurricane”. His involvement in the opening salvos of the investigation are substantial and he played a large role in the eventual outcome of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

McGonigal retired from the FBI in 2018 and went into the private sector, having been a Senior Vice President at Brookfield Properties, a…

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