‘IRONIC’-FBI Agent Who Led Trump-Russia Probe Arrested for Ties to Russian Oligarch

A former senior FBI counterintelligence official who captained the Trump-Russia probe was arrested and charged over his alleged ties to a  Russian oligarch amid the war in Ukraine.

 

 

Charles McGonigal, the former special agent in charge of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division in New York, retired in 2018. But now, he is charged with violating U.S. sanctions by agreeing to provide services to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch sanctioned by the U.S. for his successful scheme to have his child born on U.S. soil.

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McGonigal was arrested Saturday in a rare move by federal prosecutors; bringing charges against a former senior FBI official before a federal grand jury is not commonplace.

McGonigal, along with former Soviet and Russian diplomat Sergey Shestakov, worked to get the oligarch’s sanctions removed.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams made a statement.

 

“Both previously worked with Deripaska to attempt to have his sanctions removed, and, as public servants, they should have known better. This Office will continue to prosecute those who violate U.S. sanctions enacted in response to Russian belligerence in Ukraine in order to line their own pockets.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll told Fox News that the FBI was committed to enforcing the U.S.’s economic sanctions, especially on Russian oligarchs.

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“The FBI is committed to the enforcement of economic sanctions designed to protect the United States and our allies, especially against hostile activities of a foreign government and its actors. Russian oligarchs like Oleg Deripaska perform global malign influence on behalf of the Kremlin and are associated with acts of bribery, extortion, and violence.”

McGonigal and Shestakov have been slapped with the same charges. The charges include conspiring to violate and evade U.S. sanctions (in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”)),  violating the IEEPA, money laundering, and conspiring to commit money laundering. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Shestakov is also charged with making false statements, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, prosecutors told Fox News.

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Driscoll made it clear that these charges, and his commitment to enforcing economic sanctions, do not have any exceptions, even for other FBI officials.

“After sanctions are imposed, they must be enforced equally against all U.S. citizens in order to be successful. There are no exceptions for anyone, including a former FBI official like Mr. McGonigal. Supporting a designated threat to the United States and our allies is a crime the FBI will continue to pursue aggressively.”


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