My Opinion: Charles McGonigal will plead guilty to corruption charges: illegally working for Russian oligarch Deripaska. Was it done to avoid the investigation of the October Surprise 2016 and the questioning about it in a public trial? His guilty plea will only fan the interest in this subject further: What were the McGonigal's and Kallstrom's roles in the Election 2016 and the October Surprise 2016? Is this a cover-up? Should the Independent Counsel be appointed to investigate the October Surprise 2016?
My Opinion: Charles McGonigal will plead guilty to corruption charges: illegally working for Russian oligarch Deripaska. Was it done to avoid the investigation of the October Surprise 2016 and the questioning about it in a public trial? His guilty plea will only fan the interest in this subject further: What were the McGonigal's and Kallstrom's roles in the Election 2016 and the October Surprise 2016? Is this a cover-up?
Disgraced FBI agent Charles McGonigal — who investigated the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Moscow in 2016 — is slated to take a guilty plea in the case accusing him of illegally working for a Russian oligarch.
“The court has been informed that defendant Charles McGonigal may wish to enter a change of plea,” Manhattan federal Judge Jennifer Rearden wrote in a brief order filed Monday, scheduling a hearing for Aug. 15.
McGonigal, 54, — a former top FBI counterintelligence agent based in New York — was indicted in January on charges including money laundering and violating US sanctions by working for Russian billionaire and business magnate Oleg Deripaska, including trying to get him taken off of the US sanctions list.
McGonigal was legally required to report to the FBI his contact with foreign officials, but instead allegedly hid the ties, pursing business and overseas travel that conflicted with his job.
McGonigal pleaded not guilty to the four counts: Conspiring to violate and evade US sanctions, money laundering, conspiring to commit money laundering and conspiring to violate federal law against doing business with sanctioned individuals.Former FBI agent Charles McGonigal is expected to take a guilty plea next week in the New York case accusing him of illegally working with a Russian oligarch.AFP via Getty Images McGonigal was the former top FBI counterintelligence agent in New York.AP
He has been free on $500,000 bond since his arrest.
McGonigal played a central role in the FBI’s controversial “Russiagate” investigation of former President Donald Trump, which ultimately led to Robert Mueller getting appointed as special counsel to probe potential Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
He was separately indicted in Washington DC for allegedly hiding payments totaling $225,000 from a former member of Albania’s intelligence service and taking a secret meeting with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama. He pleaded not guilty in that case — which is still pending trial.
McGonigal’s lawyers didn’t immediately return a request for comment Monday.
A former FBI agent accused by U.S. prosecutors of working for a sanctioned Russian oligarch may now plead guilty to evading U.S. sanctions and money laundering after initially entering a not guilty plea.
U.S. District Judge Jennifer Rearden in Manhattan wrote in a brief order filed Monday that a change of plea hearing has been scheduled for August 15 for 54-year-old Charles McGonigal, Reuters reported.
McGonigal, who retired in 2018, was the former special agent in charge of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division in New York and was involved in the probe into former President Trump’s ties to Russia.
The former FBI official previously pleaded not guilty to conspiring to violate and evade U.S. sanctions, money laundering, conspiring to commit money laundering and conspiring to violate federal law against doing business with sanctioned individuals in connection with his work for sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
Prosecutors arrested McGonigal in January for allegedly receiving concealed payments from Deripaska, the founder of Russian aluminum company Rusal, in exchange for investigating a rival oligarch and unsuccessfully pushing to lift U.S. sanctions on Deripaska in 2019. He has been free on a $500,000 bond since his arrest.
McGonigal was legally required to report his contact with foreign officials to the agency, but allegedly hid the ties and instead pursued business and overseas travel conflicting with his work.
The charges against McGonigal came as U.S. prosecutors increased efforts to enforce sanctions on Russian officials and monitor their alleged enablers because of Moscow’s war against Ukraine.
Deripaska was among two dozen Russian oligarchs and government officials blacklisted by the U.S. in 2018 over allegations Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Deripaska and the Kremlin have denied any meddling in the election.
McGonigal reportedly played a central role in the investigation into Trump’s 2016 campaign’s connection to Russia.
While serving as chief of the cybercrimes section at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., McGonigal was reportedly one of the first bureau officials to learn former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos allegedly boasted that he knew Russians had information on then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, launching the Russian election interference probe.
Reuters and Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.
SDNY COURTHOUSE, Aug 7 - In the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, an arraignment was held by Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave former FBI agent Charles McGonigal, for helping Russian oligarch Deripaska in violation of US sanctions, and money laundering.
McGonigal, who'd hired former US Attorney for the Eastern District of NY Seth duCharme, pled not guilty and was given a $500,000 personal recognisance bond bail deal. Thread below. He has also been indicted in the District for the District of Colombia and should appear there on January 25. Inner City Press will cover both cases.
January 23 McGonigal thread here:
McGonigal's lawyer, former EDNY US Attorney Seth deCharme asks clerk about starting "paperwork," making it seem his client already has a bail deal.
Time of arrest? Saturday 3:15 pm.
Russian interpreter will be presented separately.
Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave runs through the charges, citing Russian bank and Cyprus corporation.
McGonagal, through deCharme, pleads not guilty.
AUSA: We propose release on $500,000 personal recognisance bond with 2 co-signers.
DuCharme: Both are in court today. [Note, in light of Sam Bankman-Fried's secrecy: they are not wearing masks, not even COVID masks]
DuCharme: Mr McGonigal sometimes needs to travel overseas. [You don't say] He may apply for permission in the future.
On February 9, Judge Rearden held a conference. Inner City Press was there, tweets here. Then: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jennifer H. Rearden: Status Conference as to Charles McGonigal, Sergey Shestakov held on 2/9/2023. Defendant Charles McGonigal present with Retained attorney Seth DuCharme and Meagan Maloney. Defendant Sergy Shestakov present with Retained attorney Rita Glavin and Katherine Petrino. AUSA Hagan Cordell Scotten, Rebecca Dell and Derek Wikstrom present for the government. Next conference is scheduled for Thursday, March 9, 2023.
On March 9, Inner City Press was there. Thread here:
OK - now again ex FBI McGonigal and co-defendant oligarch case in SDNY.
McGonigal's lawyer Seth DuCharme: We look forward to our trial. In the short term we can make motions.
Co-D Shestakov's lawyer: We'll say more in our conference this afternoon [Sealed CIPA confetence]
Now talks turns to taking Rule 15 depositions abroad. "There are foreign nationals with exculpatory information," co-D's lawyer says.
Judge: Letter update in 30 days on April 5 conference in 60 days on May 10 at 2 pm at which we'll pick a trial date.
But on May 9, counsel to co-defendant Sergey Shestakov wrote to Judge Rearden asking that "the Court set this matter down for another status conference in September or October, rather than set a trial date at this time."
At the May 10 conference, she asked for 2025. Inner City Press was there, thread:
now in US v McGonigal, his lawyer DuCharme says he's perplexed by the amount of discovery in DDC and why no CIPA
Shestakov's lawyer complains that DuCharme met with AUSA Scotten today in the SCIF, but she couldn't be there (she still can't under CIPA, no clearance). Does not want to set a trial date.
DuCharme says - twice - that he has no other trials (for now - he's ex EDNY)
Judge asks about another Deripaska case here in SDNY (that Inner City Press is also covering).
Now AUSA saying how he prosecuted the Mafia, some trials are short.
Now Shestakov's lawyer says she wants the Deripaska discovery, as an unindicted co-conspirator as she gets in a drug case. She wants trial in... 2025.
Judge: So, conference in September. For trial, hold some dates between March 1 and June 30.
Now Sheshtakov's lawyer cites case against NYPD officer for spying on Tibetans, that EDNY dropped. Hoping that happens here?
Judge: Status reports by June 2 and July 10, not the 3rd... And August 11, with conference on Sept 14 at 11:30.
On May 30, Judge Rearden issued this schedule: "Trial will commence on June 12, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. 2. Defendants' pretrial motions are due February 2, 2024, with the Government's responses due February 16, 2024, and Defendants' replies, if any, due February 23, 2024. 3. Any motions in limine or trial memoranda, as well as proposed voir dire, proposed jury instructions, and proposed verdict forms, shall be filed by May 10, 2024. Any oppositions to motions in limine or trial memoranda shall be filed by May 24, 2024. Any motions to sever are due May 10, 2024, with responses due May 24, 2024. 5. A final pretrial conference will be held on May 30, 2024. (Signed by Judge Jennifer H. Rearden on 05/30/2023)."
On August 7, this: "ORDER as to Charles McGonigal: The Court has been informed that Defendant Charles McGonigal may wish to enter a change of plea. Accordingly, on August 15, 2023 at 12:15 p.m., a plea proceeding will take place in Courtroom 12B, 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York 10007. (Change of Plea Hearing set for 8/15/2023 at 12:15 PM in Courtroom 12B, 500 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10007 before Judge Jennifer H. Rearden) (Signed by Judge Jennifer H. Rearden on 8/7/2023) (ap)."
More on Substack here
The case is US v. McGonigal, et al., 23-cr-16 (Rearden)
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