Former agent Charles McGonigal’s actions do not reflect the FBI, Ray tells bureau officials


The alleged criminal conduct of former FBI agent Charles McGonigal is not indicative of the rest of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Director Christopher Wray said in an internal memo to employees, summarized by ABC News.

McGonigal, who until 2018 was a special agent in charge of counterintelligence in the FBI’s New York office, was arrested and charged on Saturday in connection with US-sanctioned Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. for violating these sanctions last year.

In an undisclosed memo from Ray, Ray told FBI officials that McGonigal’s alleged behavior did not reflect the behavior of the rank and file at the bureau.

Although the FBI did not provide or comment on the internal memo, the agency released a statement from Wrayden on the allegations.

“The way to keep the trust of the American people is to show through our work — when all the facts are out — that we follow the process and that we treat everyone equally, even if they’re wrong. one of us,” Ray said in a statement.

“The FBI will do everything possible to investigate and prosecute anyone who breaks the law, including anyone who is an FBI agent. We hold ourselves to the highest standards and our focus is always on our mission and doing the right thing, the right way,” Ray said.

McGonigal, who has been indicted in two separate criminal cases in New York and Washington, is alleged to have accepted payments from Deripaska in an attempt to remove him from the sanctions list, and in another case the agent accepted payments from Albania. For the purpose of criminal proceedings against a US citizen.

Charles McGonigal, former head of the counterintelligence division of the FBI’s New York bureau, remains silent as his attorney, Seth Ducharme, speaks to the media after leaving Manhattan federal court on January 23, 2023 in New York City.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

McGonigal pleaded not guilty in the New York case and is expected to do so when he appears before a federal judge in Washington on Wednesday.

“The arrest of the former head of the FBI’s field office in New York on charges of money laundering linked to a Russian oligarch with close ties to President Putin is a significant development that could jeopardize other FBI counterintelligence or national security investigations. Regarding Russia or other issues,” Javed Ali, the former senior director of counterterrorism at the National Security Council, told ABC News. .

“Over the years, the New York office has handled some of the FBI’s most sensitive and important counterintelligence investigations, and a counterintelligence chief there would have a perspective strategy on the number of cases, their status, and various investigative techniques. and methods involved in gathering intelligence and building evidence for potential prosecution,” said Ali, also a senior FBI official and now a professor at the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

Ali said the FBI is “conducting an internal assessment to determine the potential or extent of the risk for other cases.”

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