Top FBI Officials Under Trump Were Being Paid off From Russia
More Trump and Russia Infiltrate
Date: January 23, 2023 06:06PM
A former high-level F.B.I. official has been indicted in New York and Washington, D.C., on charges of taking money from a former foreign intelligence service agent and conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions on Russia by taking secret payments from a Russian oligarch, Oleg V. Deripaska, the authorities said on Monday.
The former official, Charles McGonigal, who had been the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s counterintelligence division in New York before he retired in 2018, had supervised and participated in investigations of Russian oligarchs, including Mr. Deripaska, the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan said.
Federal prosecutors said Mr. McGonigal, 54, broke U.S. law by agreeing to help Mr. Deripaska, who himself was indicted last year on sanctions charges, attempt to get off the sanctions list and by investigating a rival oligarch. The charges are an extremely serious and rare accusation against an F.B.I. official, and they demonstrate that the reach of Russia’s oligarchs can extend into the heart of American law enforcement.
“This is an unprecedented case, which rightly or wrongly will fuel political criticism and concern about the F.B.I.,” said Jonathan C. Poling, a former prosecutor in the Justice Department’s national security division. “The charges demonstrate D.O.J. clearly intends to send a strong message, including to former officials that worked in national security fields.”
The indictment unsealed in Washington on Monday charged that Mr. McGonigal, while working for the bureau and after he retired, concealed from the F.B.I. a relationship with a former Albanian intelligence officer from whom he received $225,000 in cash. That person became an F.B.I. source in a criminal investigation involving foreign political lobbying that Mr. McGonigal supervised, the Justice Department said in a statement.