Charles McGonigal, a former high-ranking FBI agent, is scheduled to make another guilty plea. McGonigal already pleaded to New York charges relating to plotting to breach US sanctions while working with a Russian oligarch. He is being prosecuted on nine counts this time around, including making false statements, hiding important information, and fabricating records.
From 2016 through 2018, McGonigal, a 55-year-old counterintelligence head in New York, was the FBI’s special agent in charge. A probe into purported collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russia to collect damaging information about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton prior to the 2016 election was initiated during his tenure.
The charges are based on claims that McGonigal received $225,000 in cash payments in secret from an Agron Neza, an ex-Albanian intelligence officer. The payments commenced in August 2017 and persisted until September 2018, when McGonigal retired from the FBI.
McGonigal, according to the prosecution, used his position with the FBI to launch a criminal probe into foreign political lobbying that would have benefited Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania. In addition, he supposedly utilized Neza as a private human source.
Besides these accusations, McGonigal was also accused of asking the FBI liaison to the UN to set up a meeting between the founder of a Bosnian pharmaceutical business and Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN at the time. If this meeting happened, his Albanian associate would get a check for $5000 from the pharmaceutical business.
McGonigal could spend up to 20 years in jail for fabricating documents and up to five years in prison for each of the seven counts he faces connected to withholding important information or making false statements.
Due to his covert work with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, McGonigal entered a guilty plea to a separate count of conspiring to launder money and breaking the International Emergency Economic Powers Act last month. The date of his sentencing in that case is December 14.
Jim Jordan, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, expressed his worries about McGonigal’s plea agreement, describing it as unduly light and threatening to subpoena FBI records pertaining to the case. This most recent event emphasizes the ongoing consequences of McGonigal’s actions when he was employed by the FBI.