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Former FBI official investigating Trump indicted on charges of working for Russian Oligarch he was investigating

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The former FBI official involved in the investigation into the made up Trump-Russia collusion has been charged with…wait for it…Russia collusion. Former FBI official Charles McGonigal was charged with “violating sanctions and collaborating with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.”

The Department of Justice made the announcement Monday. “Charles McGonigal, a former high-level FBI official, and Sergey Shestakov, a Court interpreter, violated U.S. sanctions by agreeing to provide services to Oleg Deripaska, a sanctioned Russian oligarch” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams wrote in the released statement.

“Russian oligarchs like Oleg Deripaska perform global malign influence on behalf of the Kremlin and are associated with acts of bribery, extortion, and violence,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge Michael Driscoll noted in a statement.  “There are no exceptions for anyone, including a former FBI official like Mr. McGonigal.”

According to federal prosecutors, McGonigal received “concealed payments” from a Russian intelligence officer in exchange for his help in having sanctions targeting Deripaska lifted. “McGonigal is being charged by the Federal District in Manhattan with additional counts relating to money laundering and conspiracy” reports National Review.

Both McGonigal and Shestakov had “previously worked with Deripaska to attempt to have his sanctions removed, and, as public servants, they should have known better,” Williams’ statement added.

McGonigal’s legal team announced their plans to enter a plea of not guilty before a federal court appearance. Seth DuCharme, head of McGonigal’s legal team old the New York Times “Charlie served the United States capably, effectively, for decades.”

“We have closely reviewed the accusations made by the government and we look forward to receiving discovery so we can get a view on what the evidence is upon which the government intends to rely” DuCharme added.

McGonigal was arrested at JFK Airport in New York City on Saturday upon returning from recent travels to Sri Lanka.

 

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Elections

BREAKING: IL judge orders state election board to remove Trump from primary ballot

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Cook County Judge Tracie Porter issued a lengthy ruling Wednesday which orders the state election board to remove former President Donald Trump from the Illinois primary ballot on March 19. Porter wrote Trump is disqualified from the presidency due to his actions relating to the January 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

Porter said she was aware her “decision could not be the ultimate outcome,” given that higher courts will have a chance to weigh in; she also put her order on hold until Friday in anticipation of an appeal.

The Chicago Sun Times reports that the State Board of Elections voted unanimously last month to reject the same bid to block Trump from Illinois’ ballot under the 14th Amendment. But Porter found the board’s decision to be “clearly erroneous.”

The 14th Amendment bars from “any office, civil or military, under the United States” anyone who previously took an oath as an “officer of the United States” to support the Constitution but then engaged in “insurrection or rebellion.”

Trump’s lawyers have told the U.S. Supreme Court the amendment doesn’t apply because the president is not an “officer of the United States” under the Constitution and because he did not engage in “anything that qualifies as ‘insurrection.’”

According to the Chicago Sun Times, the “U.S. Supreme Court is poised to rule on the controversy soon — and appeared skeptical of the arguments to kick Trump off Colorado’s ballot. The clock is ticking on the nation’s high court given that Colorado’s primary election is Tuesday.” Porter also said her order would be put on hold if the Supreme court’s ruling is ultimately “inconsistent” with hers.

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