WASHINGTON, DC- In yet another bombshell involving the FBI, the former head of counterintelligence at the FBI field office in New York City has been identified as having close ties with Russia.
That revelation comes after it had already been reported that Charles McGonical had extensive ties to the original Russia collusion scheme investigation that undermined the first three years of the Donald Trump presidency.
Fox News contributor Greg Jarrett, a licensed attorney reported on his website that McGonical has been subject of scrutiny for his own ties not only to Russia but to other foreign governments.
Jarrett cited a report from Business Insider, which published a lengthy report after having obtained internal court documents. The documents revealed that late in 2021, US attorneys secretly empaneled a grand jury tasked with examining McGonical’s conduct.
“The Justice Department declined to comment on what the grand jury was investigating or whether it remained ongoing.
But a witness subpoena obtained by Insider seems to indicate that the government, in part, was looking into McGonical’s business dealings with a top aide to Oleg Deripaska, the billionaire Russian oligarch who was at the center of allegations that Russia colluded with the Trump campaign to interfere in the 2016 election.”
That subpoena issued last November specifically asked for records on McGonical and his interactions with a consulting firm, Spectrum Risk Solutions.
“A week after the subpoena was issued, a Soviet-born immigrant named Sergey Shestakov said in a separate filing that McGonical had helped him ‘facilitate’ an introduction between Spectrum and Deripaska’s aide.”
“The filing also states that McGonical helped introduce the aide to Kobre & Kim, a New York law firm that specializes in representing clients who are being investigated on suspicion of ‘fraud and misconduct.”
The federal scrutiny of McGonical is especially striking given his work at the FBI. Before his retirement in 2018, McGonical led the WikiLeaks investigation into Chelsea Manning, busted Bill Clinton’s national security advisor Sandy Berger for removing classified material from a National Archives reading room, and led the search for a Chinese mole inside the CIA.
In 2016, when reports surfaced that Russia had hacked the email system of the Democratic National Committee, McGonical was serving as chief of the cybercrimes section at FBI headquarters in Washington.
In that capacity, 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.
Later that year, FBI Director James Comey promoted McGonical to oversee counterintelligence operations in New York.
According to the witness subpoena, prosecutors are also looking into whether McGonical has ties to the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as any “payments or gifts” he was provided by the governments of Kosovo, Montenegro, and Albania.
Two sources told Insider that McGonical was close to Edi Rama, who has served as the prime minister of Albania since 2013.
According to an email reviewed by Insider, McGonical used his official FBI email account to try to arrange a meeting between Rama and an American firm the prime minister was thinking about hiring for an anti-corruption initiative. In the end, the FBI didn’t give McGonical approval fore the meeting and it never took place.
Business Insider noted that “while it wouldn’t necessarily have been illegal for McGonical to work on behalf of Deripaska, failing to disclose activities covered by the Foreign Agents Registration Act, such as lobbying and public relations, is punishable by a $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison.”
It should also be noted that in 2018, “Deripaska was sanctioned by the Treasury Department…for acting as an agent for the Kremlin, and has been accused of ordering the murder of a businessman.”
For more on the Russia collusion fiasco, we invite you to:
TAKE A LOOK BACK
This article contains editorial content by a staff writer for Law Enforcement Today
WASHINGTON, DC – The mother of all “October surprises,” predicated on a well-placed lie — was supposed to derail Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The lie, that the Trump Organization had secret computer server connections to Russia-based Alfa-Bank, was immediately discerned by the FBI to be implausible.
Despite that knowledge, the Donald Trump-Russia collusion hoax was relentlessly advanced by Democrats during the election.
Who told the lie, to whom it was told, and under what circumstances, forms the basis of special counsel John Durham’s trial against former Hillary Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann. Durham’s three-year investigation culminated in the trial that opened Monday with jury selection and continued Tuesday with opening statements from the prosecution and defense teams.
Sussmann is charged under 18 U.S.C. 1001 with lying to the FBI during a September 2016 meeting with then-FBI General Counsel James Baker, at which Sussmann claimed he had evidence of a back-channel connection between Trump and Alfa, a major Russian bank closely allied with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Sussmann pleaded not guilty to the single charge.
Durham alleges that cybersecurity lawyer Sussmann told Baker he wasn’t working on behalf of any client when he, in fact, was representing the Clinton campaign and “Tech Executive-1,” known to be former Neustar executive Rodney Joffe.
Durham alleged Sussmann also conveyed the same false information to the CIA in February 2017.
An FBI agent involved in analyzing the Trump-Russia collusion story testified Tuesday that the claims were rejected within days of analysis.
Scott Hellman, an FBI supervisory special agent who investigates cybercrime, said he and a supervisor retrieved the thumb drives and other information passed to the FBI, reviewed the secret communication claims and quickly rejected them.
It is interesting to see National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan answering questions in the White House today as the Sussmann trial unfolds nearby. Sullivan was a key player referenced in Durham's filings in pushing the false Alfa Bank collusion claims. https://t.co/zm4zomUx9a
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) May 18, 2022
Special counsel Robert Mueller, the FBI, the CIA, a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee investigation and John Durham’s team all have doubted or rejected the Alfa-Bank claims pushed by Hillary Clinton and her campaign.
The CIA concluded that Sussmann’s allegations about the “secret channel” as well as a separate allegation about Russian-manufactured cellphones was not “technically plausible,” did not “withstand technical scrutiny,” “contained gaps,” “conflicted with (itself),” and was “user-created and not machine/tool generated,” according to Durham’s filing.
The two Alfa-Bank servers in question sent more than 2,700 “look-up” messages in 2016 to a Trump Organization-connected server operated by Spectrum Health, a managed-healthcare organization in Michigan.
According to a white paper that Sussmann included with his spiel to the FBI, Spectrum Health’s IP address is a TOR exit node “used exclusively by Alfa Bank.” [The Onion Router, or TOR, is open-source software that enables anonymous communication.]
However, those 2,700 “look-ups” using a mail1.trump-email.com host were actually created by Cendyn, a firm that performs marketing and promotions for hotels, including Trump hotels, through Listrak, a Philadelphia-based spam email contractor. The communication was nothing more than spam traffic and there was no “secret server” between the Trump Organization and Russia.
Although The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major media outlets investigated the claims, presumably coming up with the same results, none published an article about them until Slate did so Oct. 31, 2016. Days before the election and possibly after some damage was done.
Agent Hellman testified that he and then-supervisor Nate Batty rejected the allegations after roughly a day. The FBI agent testified:
“We did not agree with the conclusion … that this represented a secret communication channel. Whoever had written that paper had jumped to some conclusions that were not supported by the data.”
Agent Hellman added:
“The methodology they chose was questionable to me.”
So we should sit through BS trials like Amber & Johnny,
But NOT Ghislaine Maxwell or Mark Sussman!
👉🏻Pay Attention America!👈🏻
They are Trying to keep us in the Dark when it Matters!
— Annie Patriot (@Patriot1Annie) May 18, 2022
Despite this revelation — that a lawyer for the Clinton campaign lied to the FBI in order to frame Donald Trump and that the FBI knew immediately that it was a lie — the Big Three evening news broadcasts on Tuesday ignored the story.
Instead, ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News wasted airtime on weather reports, a brush fire in Los Angeles and the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard defamation trial. Are
Americans really more interested in the salacious antics of a Hollywood couple? The heavily left-leaning news organizations would like their viewers to think so.
Fox News Channel has a different perspective, apparently, and covered the day’s revelations in its Special Report.
Correspondent David Spunt, reporting live outside the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., revealed that:
“Federal prosecutors say that former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann manipulated the FBI to open this investigation into then-candidate Donald Trump to create that October surprise right before the election.”
Prosecutors, in court documents and pretrial hearings, have characterized Sussmann’s actions as part of a smear campaign to use political opposition research to prompt an FBI investigation and to use the resulting press coverage against Trump and his campaign.
This trial is a continuation of the HOAX.
The FBI is under-selling the relationship THEY had with Sussman.
The FBI wasn’t the “victim” of Sussman’s lies.
They were both part of the same supply chain of bullshit. https://t.co/vkvxSslTRq
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) May 17, 2022
Spunt reported that prosecutors said Sussmann:
“. . .went to the FBI and said he had some information linking the Trump Organization via a computer server to a Russian-based Alfa-Bank then owned by associates close to Vladimir Putin.”
Spunt went on to report:
“An FBI agent on the stand today said it didn’t take long to determine there was no secret back channel between the Trump Organization and Russia.”
He explained the defense’s response:
“Sussmann’s team told jurors the complete opposite, arguing that Sussmann, a well-respected cyber-attorney with a top-secret clearance, never tried to hide anything from the FBI.”
Spunt said the defense sought to excuse their client’s lies to the FBI by claiming that the agency was “well aware” for whom Sussmann worked.
The leftist broadcast networks seem to long for the days before the Trump/Russia collusion fairytale was debunked as the boldfaced lie that it was. It remains to be seen how they will present a possible conviction in the courtroom of an Obama-appointed judge seated with a hostile-to-Trump jury.
Deep swamp: Judge in Sussmann case married to attorney of FBI agent involved in Russia collusion case
May 17, 2022
The following includes editorial content which is the opinion of the author, a staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
WASHINGTON, DC – The Washington, D.C. swamp is deep. The latest swamp rat to emerge is the trial judge in the case of former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann.
According to ZeroHedge, U.S. District Judge Christopher “Casey” Cooper, appointed to the federal bench by Barack Obama, has ties to disgraced former FBI agent Lisa Page.
Cooper is married to attorney Amy Jeffress, who is representing Page, a key figure in the FBI’s Russia collusion scheme, in her lawsuit against the FBI. Jeffress previously served as a top aide to none other than former Attorney General Eric Holder.
Moreover, current feckless Attorney General Merrick Garland presided over the 1999 wedding of Cooper and Jeffress. As we said, the swamp runs deep.
In a Zoom call last week, Cooper advised the parties in the case that he was acquainted with Sussman from back in the 1990s when they both worked at the DOJ. As quoted by the Washington Examiner, Cooper said:
“I worked in the ‘90s at the deputy attorney general’s office two years following law school. Mr. Sussmann also worked at the building at the same time in the criminal division. We did not work together or socialize, but I think it’s fair to say we were professional acquaintances.
“I don’t believe that this creates a conflict, but my regular practice is to disclose these sorts of relationships with lawyers or with parties on the record. And I would advise you that I would be happy to entertain a motion if either side believes there is a conflict on that basis or any other.”
Page is a former FBI lawyer who was knee-deep in the Russia collusion hoax and played a key role in the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia to sway the 2016 presidential election.
That hoax was concocted by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee and was pushed in the media by a number of government operatives, including Sussmann. At the same time, the FBI was involved in an alleged “media leak strategy.”
Page was famously engaged in an extra-marital affair with FBI agent Peter Strzok. Steamy text messages between the two showed how invested they and the FBI were in seeing Clinton and not Trump elected.
Strzok was one of the FBI agents involved in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s unsecured server, a case that went nowhere when then-FBI Director James Comey declared that no crime had occurred.
The ties between Cooper and Sussmann, as disconnected as they may appear to be, paints a disturbing picture, and once again puts a focus on how deep the ties in the DC swamp are. Moreover, the ties between Cooper and individuals who were so invested in taking down Donald Trump that they risked their cushy government careers and pensions is equally disturbing.
Do you need more ties in the tangled web? Cooper served as the presiding judge in the Benghazi ringleader case, where the ties between his wife and the DOJ also posed a conflict of interest. Consider this:
After graduating from Stanford Law School in 1993, Cooper clerked for Chief Judge Abner J. Mikva on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 1994 to 1996. He then went to work as a special assistant to Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick in the Clinton Justice Department. In 2001, he went into private practice for 17 years, working at the firms of Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin; then Baker Botts, and finally at Covington & Burling, where Holder was a partner before becoming Obama’s first attorney general.
In private practice, Cooper and his father-in-law William Jeffress successfully defended senior-level Saudi Arabian government officials in U.S. court against a lawsuit brought by the families of 9/11 victims.
The case against Sussmann centers around his part in furthering the Russia collusion hoax and lying to the FBI. Special Counsel John Durham alleges that two months before the 2016 election, Sussmann told FBI General Counsel James Baker that he was not doing work “for any client.”
He then requested and attended a meeting in which he showed “purported data and ‘white papers’ that allegedly demonstrated a covert communications channel’” between the Trump organization and Alfa Bank, a Kremlin tied financial institution, Fox News reported.
According to Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, the family ties between Cooper and the Page civil case demands he recuse himself. Fitton told Fox News:
“If a spouse has a substantial interest in the outcome of a proceeding, then a judge should consider recusal. That is a question Judge Cooper will have to ask himself.”
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