House Judiciary is demanding that the FBI turn over internal records about ex-agent Charles McGonigal.
The FBI ignored a letter from the committee sent in February, a committee spokesperson told Insider.
McGonigal now awaits sentencing for his New York case, where he pled guilty. His DC case is pending.
The GOP-led House Judiciary Committee is threatening to subpoena the FBI for a trove of records relating to Charles McGonigal, the former head of New York counter-intelligence who wound up being indicted for alleged money laundering and doing illicit work after his retirement for a sanctioned Russian oligarch.
The FBI and Justice Department “may be attempting to hide the true extent of McGonigal’s misconduct to avoid further reputation harm to the Bureau,” committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) alleged in a Tuesday letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray. Jordan first demanded that the FBI turn over McGonigal-related documents in February, a few days after he was indicted in New York and Washington. The bureau never responded beyond acknowledging receipt of the letter, a spokesperson for the committee told Insider.
When McGonigal’s alleged misconduct first came to light, his high rank inside the bureau and alleged Russia ties prompted intense speculation on the Hill by both parties. As special agent in charge of counter-intelligence at the FBI’s New York City field office, McGonigal was charged with leading efforts to track and flip foreign agents in one of the world’s spy capitals. A letter from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) drew a dotted line between McGonigal and leaks about the Hillary Clinton email investigation during the run-up to the 2016 election. Republicans, meanwhile, fixated on the fact that McGonigal had handled the incoming tip that led to the opening of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Kremlin-backed election-interference.
Insider was the first to break the news of a then-secret grand jury investigation into the counter-intelligence chief. In August, McGonigal reached a plea bargain with prosecutors in his New York case. So far, Jordan is the only legislator who has followed up in public. His committee has been hammering the FBI by hosting public hearings with special agents who say they are blowing the whistle about the bureau’s alleged anti-Trump bias. Some of those agents have accepted financial support from conservative groups; one was reportedly suspended for leaking information to Project Veritas, the right-wing activist group.
Johnathan Buma, another FBI special agent who has come forward as a whistleblower, has disputed that the bureau has an anti-Trump bias. In a video interview, Buma told Insider that Jordan’s committee is cherry-picking its witnesses, a charge that a spokesperson for Jordan has denied.
Neither the FBI nor one of McGonigal’s attorneys immediately responded to a request for comment.
You can read the full letter from Jordan to Wray below:
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