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| Main | Quick Hits
February 16, 2023

Washington Examiner: The Scandal Involving Fomer FBI Head of Counterintelligence Charles McGonical -- Charged With Taking Money From Russian Oligarchs to Get Them Off the Sanctions List -- Is Far, Far Worse Than the FBI and Media Will Admit

This is from John Schindler, a former intelligence employee and rabid NeverTrumper.

I don't find him especially credible -- but he's not alone in making these accusations. He says the Albanian newspapers are reporting it as front-page news:

He allges that Charles McGonigal was a partner in a shakedown racket, along with Albania's socialist Prime Minister, in which he threatened to make trouble for businessmen with the FBI unless they paid them off, in amounts up to 15 million euros.

On Monday, I dropped a report that revealed the Federal Bureau of Investigation's embarrassing scandal surrounding its former star counterintelligence agent Charles McGonigal, who's been indicted on corruption-related federal charges, is much worse than the Department of Justice and the media have admitted.

While McGonigal was still serving as a senior FBI official in 2017 he became a partner of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and his ruling Socialist Party. In that capacity, McGonigal is believed to have extorted wealthy Albanians in a sort of protection racket where the bureau bigwig promised to protect the oligarchs from U.S. sanctions in exchange for big bribes. McGonigal's haul from this was on the order of $32 million (which was presumably shared with his partners). I also reported that McGonigal shook down Shefqet Kastrati, Albania's top oil magnate, for 12 million euros, nearly $15 million, in 2017.

Kastrati's representatives subsequently contacted the Washington Examiner to adamantly deny that allegation. But although the FBI's embarrassing scandal was ignored by much of the U.S. media, it ignited a firestorm in Albania. There, McGonigal's apparent mafia-like antics in collusion with the government in Tirana have been front-page news.

Accusations continue to mount that McGonigal was shaking down rich Balkan businesspeople, employing his FBI affiliation in the furtherance of his con . Albanian media also reported that McGonigal, in collusion with Rama and his associates, shook down Kastrati for as much as 15 million euros to keep the oil magnate in the good graces of the Department of State in Washington. This included the involvement of Agron Neza, the former Albanian intelligence operative and McGonigal partner who accompanied the FBI man on trips to Albania and was reportedly "a regular visitor to Kastrati's office" and an intermediary who "passed bags of money" to McGonigal.

...

Now comes another Albanian media report of McGonigal's shakedown operation, in this case involving the oligarch Pellumb Salillari, one of Albania's "big octopuses of corruption." Salillari is alleged to have paid McGonigal 5 million euros to improve his reputation in Washington, where he was assessed to have criminal connections. This, then, was another big bribe to purchase McGonigal's protection from his own government.

Schindler claims that people in neighboring territories, like Kosovo, are now accusing McGonigal of shaking them down as well.

Would foreign businessmen really pay 15 million euros just to keep off the FBI's naughty list? I don't know. I think the story here is sketchy. What are the actual threats in this shakedown? What were the tangible promises?

Is this just about State Department sanctions? I guess maybe it is just about that. Are these sanctions so extreme it would be worth it to a businessman to pay 15 million euros to maybe have an inside guy who could keep you from being sanctioned?

Don't get me wrong -- I want to believe.

And I certainly can believe. I think this country's government is far more corrupt and rotten than we ever dared guess. When a business is about to go under for bankruptcy, many of its least ethical employees will take advantage of the chaos for use as fog-of-bankruptcy cover to loot the company's remaining assets.

Just ask Noted Democrat Super-Donor Sam Bankman-Fried.

I think members of the Deep State and Regime understand that America is going under so it's time to start stealing money from the taxpayers.

But I need more details to get a sense of what is supposedly going on here.


digg this
posted by Ace at 05:49 PM

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