In 2016, FBI top investigator Charles McGonigal investigated US President Donald Trump for possible Russia connections. Well come out. Ironically, this McGonigal could have been bribed by a Russian oligarch.

A former senior FBI official has been arrested and charged with allegedly working for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Charles McGonigal, 54, is said to have conducted investigations into a rival of Deripaska in exchange for covert payments, the US Department of Justice said on Monday.

The former head of the FBI’s counterintelligence department in New York is accused of violating US sanctions and money laundering, among other things. Each of the four charges carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Particularly explosive: McGonigal of all people was involved at the highest level in the FBI investigation into possible involvement of US President Donald Trump with Russia in 2016. So now it’s in the room that that investigator was bribed by Russians. Trump’s reputation was damaged by the investigations at the time – but no solid evidence was found against the president.

The US authorities had imposed sanctions on Deripaska in 2018 for his closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the final report on Robert Mueller’s Trump investigations, Deripaska’s name appeared frequently – as a close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Last September, the aluminum billionaire was then charged with violating US sanctions. He is said to have tried to get his two children US citizenship by circumventing the sanctions.

According to the US Department of Justice, the now accused ex-FBI agent McGonigal had investigated Russian oligarchs during his time with the federal police. He retired from the FBI in 2018. In 2021 he is said to have conspired with a former Russian diplomat, who is now also accused, to work for Deripaska.

After negotiations with a Deripaska representative, the two men agreed to investigate a rival Russian oligarch “in exchange for covert payments by Deripaska,” the Justice Ministry said. In a separate case, McGonigal is charged with receiving $225,000 from a former Albanian intelligence agent while he was with the FBI.

Deripaska’s connections in US politics turned out to be very close as early as 2018. At that time, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was convicted in connection with machinations with the oligarch. Then-President Trump later pardoned Manafort.