Caught Red-Handed: Ex-FBI Boss McGonigal Admits Guilty in Sordid Conspiracy

Charles McGonigal, a former FBI agent, pleaded guilty to federal charges in New York on Monday for his role in helping a Russian oligarch evade US sanctions. The charges stemmed from his efforts to help Oleg Deripaska, who is a major shareholder in a Russian company. He was charged under the IEEPA, which empowers the president to impose restrictions on international trade.

According to the court documents, McGonigal worked at the behest of Deripaska to gather information about one of his rivals. He then received payments from the Russian businessman in an attempt to conceal the origin of the information.

After he was initially charged with various offenses, including money laundering and violating the IEEPA, his charges were eventually dismissed. During his time with the FBI, which spanned from 2016 to 2018, McGonigal was the head of the agency's counterintelligence division. He became the target of ironic criticism after he was involved in an investigation regarding the Trump campaign's alleged ties with Russia.

The media's focus on the alleged Russian oligarchs was diverted from the fact that the director of the FBI approached Deripaska in 2009. He was trying to find Robert Levinson, an FBI agent who went missing. Fusion GPS, the firm that conducted the opposition research for Hillary Clinton, was also working to remove sanctions on the businessman.

During his plea hearing, McGonigal admitted that he took over $17,000 in payments from Deripaska in exchange to provide him with information about a Russian oligarch who was a rival of the businessman. He also tried to remove him from the sanctions list.

Aside from facing up to a year in prison, McGonigal will also have to forfeit the $17,500 he received from the Russian businessman. His other charges, which include lying to the FBI and concealing the funds that he received from an Albanian operative, are still pending. This case highlighted the need for more transparency and accountability within the FBI.

Written by Staff Reports

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