Former FBI Spy Investigator Arrested for Ties to Putin Affiliate Named in Mueller Report

( – A retired FBI counter-intelligence agent who was involved in the probe of President Donald Trump’s alleged Russian collusion has been arrested for ties to a Russian oligarch, Fox News reported.

Charles McGonigal, a former FBI agent, who was in charge of New York City’s FBI counterintelligence division from 2016 to 2018, was accused in an indictment for working with the former Soviet Union interpreter of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, Associated Press reported.

Oleg Deripaska is a Russian aluminum magnate billionaire. Deripaska has been under FBI scrutiny and has been on the United States sanctions list for money laundering crimes. The Mueller report tied Deripaska to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. The Justice Department took out an indictment against Deripaska for “attempting to evade” sanction on September 29.

McGonigal is accused of receiving payment from Deripaska to investigate a rival Russian billionaire, as well as to remove Deripaska from the sanction list, ABC News reported. The FBI agent was reportedly still an official member of the Bureau when he received concealed payments from the oligarch.

Deripaska was referred to in coded messaging between McGonigal and Deripaska’s interpreter as “the big guy” or “the client,” the Associated Press reported.

McGonigal and the interpreter, Sergei Shestakov, were arrested on January 21 at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Two Deripaska properties, one in New York City and the other in Washington D.C., were raided by the FBI on January 24.

McGonigal is the highest-ranking FBI official to ever be charged with a crime, ABC News reported. As a former top counterintelligence official in New York, McGonigal’s previous FBI role was to search out spies, ABC News. Federal prosecutors said that McGonigal “should have known better,” than to receive funds from a Russian spy.

The FBI directly investigated McGonigal over his connection with Deripaska, the Associated Press reported.

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