McGonigal is accused of violating U.S. sanctions on behalf of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian aluminum magnate with close ties to Putin.
According to prosecutors, McGonigal and a former Russian diplomat conspired to have sanctions removed from Deripaska in 2021. They also allegedly accepted concealed payments from Deripaska in return for investigating another Russian oligarch. Their efforts were unsuccessful, as Deripaska remains under sanctions. McGonigal allegedly received $225,000 from a former Russian intelligence officer while employed by the FBI.
The indictment marks a surprising twist given McGonigal’s involvement in the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s links to Russia. As a top counterintelligence official, he was one of the first individuals at the FBI to learn of a Trump campaign advisor discussing Clinton’s emails with a foreign diplomat. Despite this, the FBI found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
McGonigal left the FBI in 2018 and was also involved in the bureau’s probe of Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. It is unclear what other role he played in the Trump-Russia probe, but the investigation also scrutinized Deripaska’s relationship with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.