Charles McGonigal, the retired NY FBI agent in charge of investigating Trump’s Russian collusion, has been indicted for money laundering and breaking US sanctions against Russian oligarchs.
After leaving the FBI in 2018, McGonigal subsequently worked for Deripaska through a law firm representing the Russian oil tycoon.
-FBI Official Involved in Trump-Russia Probe Indicted for Working on Behalf of Sanctioned Russian Oligarch
Charles McGonigal, a former FBI official involved in the investigation of Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, has been charged with violating sanctions and collaborating with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, the Department of Justice announced Monday.
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.
As chief of counterintelligence in the bureau’s New York City field office, McGonigal was among the first FBI officials to learn of the fateful conversation between a senior Trump campaign adviser and a foreign diplomat over the topic of Hillary Clinton’s emails, the Washington Free Beacon noted. Knowledge of that interaction proved crucial to the federal agency opening an investigation into the matter, which ultimately found there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Michael Beschloss creates some more context with information about McGonigal’s history:
Fox News online, of all places, also adds more to the timeline:
As part of their negotiations with Deripaska’s agent, McGonigal…. attempted to conceal Deripaska’s involvement by, among other means, not directly naming Deripaska in electronic communications, using shell companies as counterparties in the contract that outlined the services to be performed, using a forged signature on that contract, and using the same shell companies to send and receive payments from Deripaska, according to the indictment.
In 2019, McGonigal and Shestakov also allegedly worked on behalf of Deripaska in an unsuccessful effort to have the sanctions against Deripaska lifted. In November 2021, when FBI agents questioned Shestakov about the nature of his and McGonigal’s relationship with Deripaska’s agent, the interpreter made false statements in a recorded interview, federal prosecutors said.
In 2021, McGonigal investigated a rival Russian oligarch of Deripaska in return for concealed payments from him thus violating sanctions the United States imposed in 2018. McGonigal knew their actions violated U.S. sanctions because, among other reasons, while serving as special agent in charge, McGonigal received then-classified information that Deripaska would be added to a list of oligarchs being sanctioned.