A former senior FBI agent, once involved in the agency’s 2016 Trump campaign investigation over unproven allegations of collusion with Russia, is anticipated to admit guilt for unlawfully working for a blacklisted oligarch. This information is revealed in a filing for Manhattan federal court, where the case is set to be heard next week.
Charles McGonigal, previously in charge of counterintelligence at the FBI’s New York field office, is due for a “plea proceeding” on Aug. 15, as stated in a judge’s order, according to ABC News.
The 54-year-old McGonigal stands accused by American prosecutors of having worked for the sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The pending guilty plea is connected to criminal counts of avoiding U.S. sanctions and engaging in money laundering.
McGonigal, ranking among the FBI’s highest-ever criminally charged officials, played a significant role in the agency’s New York counterintelligence operations during the Russia investigation involving ex-President Donald Trump.
As reported by the Daily Mail, Seth DuCharme, McGonigal’s lawyer, indicated last week that the case was likely to be settled.
Earlier in January, prosecutors alleged that McGonigal, who retired in 2018, accepted concealed funds from Deripaska in return for probing a competing oligarch and made unsuccessful attempts in 2019 to remove U.S. sanctions on Deripaska, as covered by Breitbart News.
McGonigal’s charges coincided with increased U.S. efforts to enforce sanctions on Russian authorities and investigate their alleged accomplices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Deripaska, Rusal’s founder and, at one point, Russia’s wealthiest individual, was part of a group of Russian oligarchs and officials blacklisted by the U.S. in 2018. The U.S. Treasury Department disclosed that Deripaska was scrutinized for potential money laundering, extortion, racketeering, and supposed connections to Russian organized crime and murder.
In a separate case in Washington, DC, McGonigal faces charges for hiding $225,000 allegedly received from a former Albanian intelligence worker. Last week, his lawyer expressed the expectation that this case would also be resolved without going to trial.
The brief court order scheduling the plea proceeding provided no additional details, and the hearing may be postponed if the change of plea doesn’t occur.