Former FBI Official Linked To ‘Russiagate’ Probe Sentenced To 4 Years For Foreign Conspiracy

(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

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A former top FBI official involved in the “Russiagate” probe into former President Donald Trump was sentenced on Thursday following charges of foreign conspiracy, The Washington Post reported.

Former FBI counterintelligence official Charles McGonigal pled guilty in August to aiding a Russian oligarch in exchange for secret payments, according to the Wall Street Journal. McGonigal was sentenced to approximately 4 years in federal prison and fined $40,000 in a Manhattan court, according to the Post. (RELATED: DOJ Declines To Prosecute FBI Official Who Went Rogue)

“I recognize more than ever that I’ve betrayed the confidence and trust of those close to me,” McGonigal said during his sentencing, according to the Post. “For the rest of my life, I will be fighting to regain that trust.”

McGonigal was initially arrested in January for his connections to Oleg Deripaska, a sanctioned Russian oligarch who he accepted payments from to collect open-source research against a rival, according to the WSJ. McGonigal was also charged for accepting $225,000 in payments from a former Albanian intelligence officer, which he is expected to face sentencing for in February 2024, according to Reuters.

“I have no patience or sympathy for this guy,” former FBI agent Jim DiOrio told the WSJ. “He saw an opportunity and he took advantage.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 09: Charles McGonigal, the former head of counterintelligence for the FBI’s New York office, leaves Manhattan Federal Court after a court appearance on February 09, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

McGonigal was involved in the Crossfire Hurricane probe, also known as the “Russiagate” probe, into the Trump campaign in 2016. Crossfire Hurricane turned into a 22-month, $32 million investigation that ultimately found no evidence Trump colluded with Russia to swing the 2016 election in his favor.

McGonigal was also involved in a “classified defensive briefing” that was given to the attorneys of failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2015, in what was called a “clear double standard by the Department of Justice,” by Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham in 2020.

Earlier in his career, McGonigal was one of two FBI agents who stopped a plot to bomb the New York City metro in 1997, according to the WSJ. He also helped in the FBI’s post-9/11 investigation and stayed in the city to work on a task force focused on foreign terror threats in New York City.

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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