Former FBI spy hunter expected to plead guilty to federal charges

by admin
Former FBI spy hunter expected to plead guilty to federal charges

We have an update on a story I’ve been following for The ReidOut Blog: Charles McGonigal, a former top counterintelligence official at the FBI, has indicated he intends to plead guilty to charges that he laundered money and worked to help a Russian oligarch evade U.S. sanctions. McGonigal was considered one of the top spy hunters in the FBI before he retired in 2018. 

When I first wrote about McGonigal in January, he was facing federal charges in Washington, D.C., and New York. The Washington charges, to which McGonigal has pleaded not guilty, allege that he accepted $225,000 in cash from a former Albanian intelligence agent while he was still with the FBI. But his attorney said last week that there’s a “decent chance” that the case will be resolved without going to trial, meaning it’s possible McGonigal enters a plea deal in Washington. 

On Tuesday, NBC New York reported that he is expected to plead guilty to the New York charges, which involve the Russian oligarch and pertain to after McGonigal left the FBI. According to the report

Former FBI Special Agent in Charge of Counterintelligence Charles McGonigal pleaded not guilty following his arrest. A judge’s order says, “the Court has been informed that Defendant Charles McGonigal may wish to enter a change of plea” and has scheduled that change of plea proceeding for August 15 at 12:15pm in federal court in New York.

Needless to say, any confirmation that a longtime FBI official worked with a Russian oligarch would be bad news. And the allegations about McGonigal while he was in the FBI are even more troubling.

As I wrote in February, all of this undermines public trust in law enforcement — and its members’ duty to act independently and in the interest of the Americans they’re supposed to protect.

Ja’han Jones

Ja’han Jones is The ReidOut Blog writer. He’s a futurist and multimedia producer focused on culture and politics. His previous projects include “Black Hair Defined” and the “Black Obituary Project.”

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