A former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who once led the Trump-Russia probe was arrested this weekend for – ironically – conspiring with a Russian oligarch.
Charles McGonigal, former Special Agent In Charge Of The New York FBI Counterintelligence Division, and Russian Sergey Shestakov, were charged on five counts, according to newly-unsealed indictments from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The Daily Wire reports that the two men were “charged with allegedly violating and conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) and with conspiring to commit money laundering and money laundering.”
Shestakov was additionally charged with allegedly lying to the FBI.
According to the Department of Justice, McGonigal, “supervised and participated in investigations of Russian oligarchs, including Deripaska,” before retiring from the FBI in 2018.
Shestakov is a former Soviet and Russian diplomat.
The DOJ’s statement reads:
“In 2021, MCGONIGAL and SHESTAKOV conspired to provide services to Deripaska, in violation of U.S. sanctions imposed on Deripaska in 2018. Specifically, following their negotiations with an agent of Deripaska, MCGONIGAL and SHESTAKOV agreed to and did investigate a rival Russian oligarch in return for concealed payments from Deripaska. As part of their negotiations with Deripaska’s agent, MCGONIGAL, SHESTAKOV, and the agent attempted to conceal Deripaska’s involvement by, among other means, not directly naming Deripaska in electronic communications, using shell companies as counterparties in the contract that outlined the services to be performed, using a forged signature on that contract, and using the same shell companies to send and receive payments from Deripaska.
MCGONIGAL and SHESTAKOV were aware that their actions violated U.S. sanctions because, among other reasons, while serving as SAC, MCGONIGAL received then-classified information that Deripaska would be added to a list of oligarchs considered for sanctions as part of the process that led to the imposition of sanctions against Deripaska. In addition, in 2019, MCGONIGAL and SHESTAKOV worked on behalf of Deripaska in an unsuccessful effort to have the sanctions against Deripaska lifted. In November 2021, when FBI agents questioned SHESTAKOV about the nature of his and MCGONIGAL’s relationship with Deripaska’s agent, SHESTAKOV made false statements in a recorded interview.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz joined Steve Bannon’s War Room to discuss McGonigal’s corrupt actions:
BURIED LEDE: Former FBI Official Charles McGonigal was colluding while active to set up a post-career influence-peddling operation 👇
"The @JudiciaryGOP has to review this immediately. This is more important than whatever is in Joe Biden's glove compartment of his convertible." pic.twitter.com/wBY7F6KwT4
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 25, 2023
The Washington Free Beacon reported that McGonigal was also a key player in the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s so-called ‘links’ to Russia.
“McGonigal, who left the FBI in 2018, was involved in the bureau’s probe of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, according to text messages released by Senate Republicans. “Our Team is currently talking to [Carter Page] re Russia,” he wrote on March 16, 2017, to an FBI colleague.”
The report says McGonigal’s further involvement in the Trump-Russia probe is unknown.