Former FBI agent Charles McGonigal, who is charged with violating U.S. sanctions by working with a Russian oligarch, was tied to the Trump-Russia collusion investigation, as well as a separate defensive briefing given to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.
McGonigal, the former head of counterintelligence for the FBI New York field office, was indicted by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York in January on five counts related to services he allegedly provided to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The five counts include violating and conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and conspiring to commit money laundering. The former FBI agent had investigated Deripaska over the since-debunked allegations that the Trump 2016 campaign colluded with Russia.
A court filing submitted on Monday said that “McGonigal may wish to enter a change of plea.”
McGonigal previously pleaded not guilty to the five charges as well as the federal charges brought against him by the U.S. Attorney for D.C. for allegedly concealing $225,000 in cash from a person who worked for the Albanian intelligence service.
The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee opened an investigation into McGonigal in February.
McGonigal had some involvement in the Trump-Russia collusion investigation and the FBI’s interactions with the Clinton campaign.
According to an FBI document dated Oct. 22, 2015, McGonigal was copied on a defensive briefing for Clinton.
The document details a defensive briefing that Clinton’s attorneys, David E. Kendall and Katherine Turner, received a week earlier regarding an attempt to influence the then-Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign.
The FBI told the attorneys that there were attempts to influence Clinton’s campaign “through lobbying efforts and campaign contributions,” according to the document.
The attorneys “were advised the FBI was providing them with this briefing for awareness and so Ms. Clinton could take appropriate action to protect herself,” the document later added. The lawyers were also “asked to advise the FBI … if Ms. Clinton is approached by anyone connected to or acting at the direction of the [redacted].”
In Special Counsel John Durham’s report, he noted, “FBI Headquarters and Department [of Justice] officials required defensive briefings to be provided to Clinton and other officials or candidates who appeared to be the targets of foreign interference.”
(…) “No defensive briefing was provided to Trump or anyone in the campaign concerning the information received from Australia that suggested there might be some type of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians either prior to or after these investigations were opened” the special counsel added. “Instead,” said Durham, “the FBI began working on requests for the use of FISA authorities against Page and Papadopoulos.” (Read more: Just the News, 8/09/2023) (Archive)
McGonigal was the FBI’s recipient of the fake tip from Alexander Downer that supposedly started the Trump/Russia investigation.
— Hans Mahncke (@HansMahncke) January 23, 2023