(GoRealNewsNow.com) – BREAKING NOW: Charles McGonigal, a former FBI official, has been charged with violating sanctions and collaborating with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, the Department of Justice announced on Monday.
According to federal prosecutors, McGonigal received “concealed payments” from a Russian intelligence officer in exchange for his help in having sanctions targeting Deripaska lifted.
McGonigal is being charged by the Federal District in Manhattan with additional counts relating to money laundering and conspiracy.
As chief of counterintelligence in the bureau’s New York City field office, McGonigal was among the first FBI officials to learn of the fateful conversation between a senior Trump campaign adviser and a foreign diplomat over the topic of Hillary Clinton’s emails, the Washington Free Beacon noted.
Knowledge of that interaction proved crucial to the federal agency opening an investigation into the matter, which ultimately found there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Deripaska, a well-known aluminum magnate and close friend of President Vladimir Putin, was reportedly a client of Paul Manafort, an attorney and former Trump presidential campaign consultant.
Deripaska was recently the subject of a 60 Minutes segment alongside other prominent Russian oligarchs known for laundering illicit funds through the European Union member country of Cyprus. According to the investigation, Deripaska arranged for a child of his to be born in the United States in an attempt to bypass the sanctions imposed upon him.
The indictment, which also outlined charges against FBI interpreter Sergey Shestakov, prompted the federal agency to release a statement condemning the abuse of power.
“Russian oligarchs like Oleg Deripaska perform global malign influence on behalf of the Kremlin and are associated with acts of bribery, extortion, and violence,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge Michael Driscoll noted in a statement. “There are no exceptions for anyone, including a former FBI official like Mr. McGonigal.”
McGonigal legal team, headed by Seth DuCharme, remained adamant about his client’s innocence.
“Charlie served the United States capably, effectively, for decades,” DuCharme told the New York Times. “We have closely reviewed the accusations made by the government and we look forward to receiving discovery so we can get a view on what the evidence is upon which the government intends to rely.”
DuCharme added that McGonigal plans to enter a plea of not guilty before a federal court appearance in Manhattan later Monday.
McGonigal was arrested at JFK Airport in New York City on Saturday upon returning from recent travels to Sri Lanka.
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