- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 2, 2023

House Judiciary Republicans Thursday launched an investigation into Charles McGonigal, the former FBI official in charge of counterintelligence in the FBI’s New York Field Office who was arrested in January over ties to a Russian billionaire.

Mr. McGonigal was indicted on money laundering charges, violating U.S. sanctions and other counts stemming from his alleged collusion with Russian Oleg Deripaska.

In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Committee Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Matt Gaetz, Florida Republican, ask the agency to turn over documents and communications within two weeks related to Mr. McGonigal.

Mr. McGonigal, 54, is accused of taking secret payments from Mr. Deripaska in exchange for investigating a rival oligarch, court documents say.

Mr. McGonigal is one of the highest-ranking FBI officials ever charged with a crime.

In their letter to Mr. Wray, both lawmakers write that Mr. McGonigal supervised and participated in investigations of Russian oligarchs, including Deripaska.

“This misconduct further erodes public confidence in the FBI’s conduct and law-enforcement actions. McGonigal’s indictment also raises new questions about the FBI’s counterintelligence efforts during his employment with the FBI,” Mr. Jordan and Mr. Gaetz write. “According to reports, McGonigal previously played an instrumental role ‘in the decision to launch the Crossfire Hurricane investigation’ against then-candidate Donald Trump.”

Mr. Jordan and Mr. Gaetz asked Mr. Wray for all personnel records regarding  Mr. McGonigal, including but not limited to his work history, evaluation forms, and security clearance evaluations.

The Republicans also want all documents and communications referring or relating to the FBI’s process for assessing and responding to the investigation(s) concerning Mr. McGonigal and all documents and communications referring or relating to the actions taken or plan to be taken by the FBI to mitigate the national security risks posed by Mr. McGonigal’s actions.

Finally, Mr. Gaetz and Mr. Jordan called for Mr. Wray to arrange a briefing with lawmakers to discuss the FBI’s investigation of Mr. McGonigal.

• Kerry Picket can be reached at kpicket@washingtontimes.com.

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