Former high-ranking FBI agent Charles McGonigal, who last month copped to New York charges of conspiring to violate US sanctions while working with a Russian oligarch, is set to plead guilty Friday for accepting secret payments from an ex-foreign intelligence agent.
McGonigal, 55, will appear before US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington, DC, to enter his plea on nine counts of falsifying records, concealing material facts and making false statements, court filings show.
The former FBI special agent in charge served as counterintelligence chief in New York from 2016 to 2018 — and helped launch a probe into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia to get “dirt” on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election.
McGonigal allegedly took $225,000 from an ex-Albanian intelligence operative, identified in European media as Agron Neza, and met with the nation’s prime minister, Edi Rama, while working for the bureau.
He initiated the lucrative arrangement in August 2017 — and it continued beyond his retirement from the FBI in September 2018, according to his January indictment.
The disgraced agent also had the FBI open a criminal investigation into foreign political lobbying that would have benefited Rama — and used the ex-Albanian intelligence official as a confidential human source, prosecutors say.
McGonigal also allegedly requested the FBI’s liaison to the United Nations broker a meeting between then-US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and the founder of a Bosnian pharmaceutical company.
His Albanian associate was prepared to receive $500,000 from the pharmaceutical company if the meeting took place, the indictment charges.
McGonigal faces up to 20 years in prison for two counts of falsifying records and up to five years in prison for each of the seven counts of concealing material facts or making false statements.
Lawyers for McGonigal and a spokeswoman for DC US Attorney Matthew Graves declined to comment.
The disgraced FBI agent, who served for 22 years at the bureau, pleaded guilty last month to just one count of conspiring to launder money and violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act in his off-the-books work for Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire and aluminum magnate.
“I understand what my actions have resulted in, and I’m deeply remorseful,” McGonigal said with visible regret in Manhattan federal court. “My actions were never intended to hurt the United States, the FBI or my family and friends.”
He claimed he had pocketed $17,500 to help Deripaska get dirt on a rival Russian oligarch — and later tried to remove him from a US sanctions list.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) threatened to subpoena the FBI on Tuesday for files on McGonigal, calling his recent plea deal with the Justice Department a slap on the wrist.
“Both McGonigal’s serious misconduct as a senior, high-level FBI official, and the possibility of McGonigal receiving generous plea deals from the Justice Department in both cases, raise significant concerns that the FBI and the Department may be attempting to hide the true extent of McGonigal’s misconduct to avoid further reputational harm to the Bureau,” Jordan wrote in a Sept. 19 letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray.
“If you refuse to voluntarily produce the requested documents and information, the Committee may be forced to consider use of compulsory process,” Jordan added.
McGonigal faces up to five years in prison for the crime. US District Judge Jennifer Rearden has set a Dec. 14 sentencing hearing for the case.
The post Ex-FBI agent Charles McGonigal to plead guilty in DC over work for Russian oligarch appeared first on New York Post.