Former FBI Official Pleads Guilty to Helping Russian Businessman

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    The Facts

    • Charles McGonigal, the former head of the FBI's counterintelligence division in New York, has pled guilty to one count of conspiracy — having worked for a Russian businessman under US sanctions.

    • McGonigal struck a plea deal with the US attorney's office for the Southern District of New York, officially admitting to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and engaging in money laundering.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    There is a deep irony that the FBI, as they desperately obsessed with the meritless task of discovering links between Trump and Russia, themselves were the source of a Russian conspiracy. The naked politicization of federal organizations continues to make a mockery of the US, and the current state of the FBI is nothing short of appalling.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    While McGonigal's behavior paints a problematic picture of the US intelligence community, these events are a stark reminder that the US continues to have adversaries throughout the world who seek to covertly undermine America. Despite this, it's also reassuring that the FBI was able to uncover the internal conspiracy. It's imperative that we strengthen the important institution that is the FBI — not try to tear it down with baseless conspiracies.

    Nerd narrative

    There is an 18% chance of a Russia-US war before 2050, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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