Headline RoundupJanuary 24th, 2023

Former Top FBI Official Charged With Aiding Russian Oligarch

AllSides Summary

A former top FBI official who worked on the probe into possible collusion by Russia and President Donald Trump was arrested Saturday over his connections to a Russian oligarch.

The Details: Charles McGonical, who was previously in charge of counterintelligence in the FBI's New York Field Office, was charged with violating sanctions and accepting payments from a foreign agent while still in the FBI. He is accused of trying to help Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska evade sanctions. McGonigal pleaded not guilty on Monday.

For Context: McGonigal is one of the highest ranking former FBI officials ever charged with a crime. He retired from the agency in 2018. In 2017, he was among the first FBI agents to learn of a conversation between a Trump campaign adviser and a foreign diplomat about Hillary Clinton’s emails. The moment was a key catalyst for the FBI's collusion probe into Trump, which ultimately found none. Deripaska is one of Russia's wealthiest oligarchs, and was president of energy company En+ Group and United Company Rusal, the world's second largest aluminum company, before leaving both posts in 2018.

How the Media Covered It: McGonical's arrest was a top story from sources across the political spectrum. Left- and center-rated sources generally focused less on his involvement in the Trump-Russia probe than right-rated sources did.

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