FBI Official Who Worked With Putin’s Henchman Gets Sentenced to Prison

0
519

Charles McGonigal is heading to prison, the disgraced ex-FBI official who helped launch the Trump collusion investigation.

McGonigal, who admitted to conspiring and concealing foreign contacts as well as bribes will spend over four years at a federal prison. McGonigal worked with Oleg Deripaska, known as “Putin’s henchman.”

McGonigal acknowledged that his actions had caused him “extreme emotional, mental, and physical pain” but asked the judge for a second opportunity in the case.

Judge Jennifer Rearden stated that McGonigal had “repeatedly flouted the sanctions regimes essential” to American interests in security. Rearden said that the “undeniable gravity of this case and the need to obey the law” “requires a meaningful custody sentence.”

The FBI official confessed during the hearing that “he feels a deep sense of regret and sorrow for his actions.”

McGonigal said to Rearden: “I know more than anyone that I’ve committed a crime and it causes me extreme emotional, mental, and physical pain. Not to mention the shame and embarrassment I feel for embarrassing myself and the FBI, an organization I respect and love.” “I’m asking humbly for a second opportunity.”

Deripaska was one of the dozens of oligarchs who were sanctioned by Putin in 2018 for interfering in the U.S. election. He was also charged with violating these sanctions in the U.S. McGonigal was involved in Deripaska’s scheme to investigate an oligarch’s rival in exchange for payment that had been hidden from the FBI. Prosecutors claim that the FBI official tried to conceal Deripaska’s involvement by not directly naming him in any documentation. He used shell companies to receive and send payments and also forged signatures.

McGonigal’s lawyers argued to Reuters that he should not receive prison time as he has accepted responsibility and lost a job. McGonigal’s lawyers also claimed that he believed his actions were “consistent” with U.S. policy, by assisting in the potential sanctioning of Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin.

McGonigal is one of the FBI officials who was first to receive information that a Trump Campaign member knew Russia had a portion of Hillary Clinton’s former emails. This information led to the FBI’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia.

McGonigal, the former counterintelligence chief in the FBI’s New York office, was one of the first FBI officials notified by George Papadopoulos that he was aware of the fact that Russia had obtained Hillary Clinton’s email trove.

McGonigal relayed the information to the FBI, and his note played a key role in initiating an investigation into the alleged collusion of the Trump campaign with the Kremlin. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation failed to provide enough evidence to prove the guilt of then-President Trump. The investigation lasted for 22 months and cost reportedly over $30 million.

McGonigal will be heading to prison by February.