John Schindler writes for the Washington Examiner about critical problems plaguing the federal government’s leading law enforcement agency.

In recent years, Republicans have gradually lost faith in the FBI’s nonpartisan integrity. This week brings more reasons to doubt the FBI’s ability to police itself.

Enter the plea deal granted to Charles McGonigal, the rogue senior agent whose last assignment before retiring in 2018 was serving as the counterintelligence boss of the bureau’s powerful New York Field Office.

In a Manhattan federal court on Tuesday, the disgraced McGonigal pleaded guilty to charges that he conspired to violate international sanctions on a notorious Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, and committed money laundering. Although these are serious charges and McGonigal faces up to five years in prison, nobody expects his sentence, which will be handed down towards the end of this year, to be that severe since he reached a plea deal with the Department of Justice, admitting his guilt.

Nevertheless, the bureau’s image is severely tarnished here. Part of McGonigal’s job as a counterspy boss with the FBI was investigating Kremlin-connected Russian oligarchs, including Oleg Deripaska! The fact that McGonigal was also involved, at least to a degree, with the FBI’s infamous investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in 2016, Operation CROSSFIRE HURRICANE, has led many Republicans to smell a rat. It looks like President Joe Biden’s Justice Department is giving McGonigal a pass to avoid unpleasant revelations about FBI dirty dealings which might emerge in any trial. The full story is even worse.

The Russian side of the McGonigal scandal is the tame one. Although the media never paid it sufficient attention, the accused is facing more federal charges stemming from McGonigal’s taking $225,000 from a former Albanian intelligence officer in 2017, when the accused was still an FBI official. This is fundamentally a Balkan spy-meets-corruption scandal, and that wasn’t addressed by McGonigal’s guilty plea this week.