(TotalConservative.com) – Former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) counterintelligence division, Charles McGonigal, pleaded guilty on Tuesday before a Manhattan federal court for violating US sanctions against Russia by taking payment from a Russian oligarch.
On a single count charge of conspiring to launder money, violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, McGonigal plead guilty on Tuesday and expressed remorse to the judge. McGonigal said he understands what his actions “have resulted in” and that he “never intended to hurt the United States” through his actions, or the FBI and his family.
McGonigal said he was “relieved” when he left the courtroom after pleading guilty.
The case spread across headlines earlier this year when McGonigal was indicted and arrested in January on charges of violating US sanctions and money laundering. The 55-year-old accepted $17,000 from Russian businessman and billionaire Oleg Deripaska to try and help the oligarch find dirt on a rival, and McGonigal also tried to remove Deripaska’s name from the US sanctions list. McGonigal allegedly hid his overseas travel and business with Deripaska when he was legally required to report such contact with foreign officials to the FBI.
Once upon a time, before becoming entangled with the country himself, McGonigal was tasked with investigating the allegations against Trump that the former president colluded with Russia to win the White House in 2016, later shown to be false.
In a statement after the August 15 proceedings, prosecutor US Attorney Damien Williams said McGonigal, with “his tenure as a high-level FBI official” who helped investigate Russian oligarchs, “has now admitted” to evading sanctions when he provided services Deripaska, “one of those oligarchs.” Any who “violate U.S. sanctions for their own financial benefit” will be held accountable, Williams said.
McGonigal now faces up to five years behind bars after being sentenced on December 14.
He was indicted in a separate case in Washington, D.C. for allegedly hiding payments he received from a former Albanian intelligence agent and for meeting in secret with the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, while employed at the FBI. This case against McGonigal, to which he pleaded not guilty, is still pending a trial.
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