Charles McGonigal, a former FBI official, pled guilty to conspiracy on Tuesday in New York federal court. The charge stemmed from his efforts to help Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska evade U.S. sanctions.
The Information filed on Tuesday alleged conspiracy to violate International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which allows the president to regulate foreign commerce. This includes investigating and imposing control on transactions as well as freezing foreign assets within U.S. jurisdiction if a national crisis is declared due to an external “unusual or extraordinary threat” to the United States.
The Information alleges McGonigal conspired with the other members of the group to further this conspiracy.
A. McGonigal, and others, acting on behalf of Oleg Deripaska (whom the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had designated as a Specially-Designated National around April 6, 2018), sought to collect derogatory information against a rival of Deripaska in violation of IEEPA.
B. From or about August 2021 through or about November 2021, McGonigal and others received and routed payments from Deripaska through two corporations, neither of which was registered in the name of McGonigal or Deripaska, in an effort to conceal that the payments originated from Deripaska.
McGonigal had been charged with five counts including conspiracy to defraud the United States, money laundering (and conspiracy of same), and violation of the IEEPA. According to the plea on Tuesday, four other charges will be dropped.
McGonigal is a 55-year-old former FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Counterintelligence Division from 2016-2018. This ironically means that he was initially involved in the investigation into the Russian collusion allegations against Donald Trump, and then was actually engaged in the matter himself. We previously explained in January:
McGonigal played a major role in the creation of the Russian Hoax. He was the one who got the information from the Australian High Commissioner in the UK Alexander Downer, that Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos had said the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary.
The media will never admit that Hillary Clinton’s opposition team lied to them. They are harping on “Russian oligarchs” because they cannot accept the fact that Robert Mueller, the FBI Director, approached Deripaska in 2009 about funding a private search for Robert Levinson, an American citizen and former FBI agent who was suspected to be a CIA asset. He had disappeared in Iran. As the Russia Hoax unfolded, Hillary’s opposition team at Fusion GPS worked to remove sanctions from Deripaska. This is the same activity that got McGonigal arrested.
New York Times forced to “correct” major story on Manafort Case. McGonigal may have been in the New York Field Office at the time Mueller attempted to make Deripaska an FBI asset.
McGonigal apologized for his actions at the Tuesday plea hearing.
Former FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Agency’s Counterintelligence Division from 2016 to 2018, told the Federal Judge that he received over $17,000 in exchange for gathering derogatory information about a different Russian Oligarch. Deripaska had a rivalry with the Russian oligarch McGonigal and received payment to gather derogatory info.
McGonigal allegedly worked to remove Deripaska from the list of sanctions, according to prosecutors.
The American, together with co-conspirators were in negotiations to receive a fee of $650,000 to $3.5 million to search for hidden $500 assets that belong to Deripaska’s business rival.
McGonigal stated, “This has been a painful experience not only for myself, but also for my family, friends, and loved ones.” “I accept full responsibility, as my actions never were intended to harm the United States or the FBI.” “Nor was it my intention to harm my friends and family.”
McGonigal’s plea agreement stipulates that he must also forfeit $17.500 in addition to the five-year prison sentence he could face. His sentencing is set for December.
The charges against McGonigal, who allegedly lied to the FBI about his contacts with foreigners and concealed $225,000 he allegedly got from an Albanian Intelligence employee, are still pending at U.S. District Court Washington D.C.