The disgraced ex-FBI agent who railroaded former President Donald Trump on false accusations of colluding with Russia is now expected to plead guilty to similar charges. The irony is undeniable.
Charles McGonigal helped lead the investigation into debunked accusations that Trump colluded with Russian authorities. He was charged in January with money laundering and violating U.S. sanctions against Moscow by working with a Russian oligarch.
McGonigal, 54, went as far as to attempt to have his alleged patron, business magnate Oleg Deripaska, removed from Washington’s sanctions list.
Deripaska is the founder of a Russian aluminum company.
By law, McGonigal was to report interactions with foreign authorities to the FBI. Instead, he was charged with going to great lengths to hide his activities through actions that interfered with his official FBI duties.
In 2016, McGonigal was among the first to be briefed on allegations that the Trump presidential campaign boasted that Russia had “scandalous information” on rival Hillary Clinton. That allegation led to the now-infamous investigation.
NEW: FBI agent Charles McGonigal who investigated Donald Trump for colluding with Russia, is set to plead guilty for colluding with Russia.
Read that again.
McGonigal, who was a key figure in the Trump-Russia hoax investigation, will be pleading guilty after being accused of… pic.twitter.com/z8b7arBOHu
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) August 8, 2023
Conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the probe that lasted for 22 months and cost $32 million fell flat. The investigation was not able to uncover evidence that the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
Now McGonigal is expected to plead guilty to receiving “concealed payments” from a Moscow intelligence officer.
Among his charges were conspiracy to violate and evade U.S. sanctions, money laundering, and violating federal law against doing business with sanctioned individuals.
McGonigal, while employed by the bureau received classified information that Deripaska faced designation as a close associate with the Kremlin. The oligarch would then be sanctioned by the U.S., meaning the agent was legally obliged to inform his superiors of his contact with the Russian.
The former chief of counterintelligence in the FBI’s New York City field office sent the email that sparked the investigation into the Trump campaign. The Clinton camp and its media followers had a field day with spreading false accusations against the future president.
Compared to the wall-to-wall coverage of the allegations against Trump that ran like wildfire through the media, the current case drew scant attention. Of course, it did not fit the narrative of corporate journalists, and thus the rich irony was lost on them.