The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday sought information about indicted former FBI counterintelligence agent Charles McGonigal.
McGonigal was charged last week with violating U.S. sanctions against Russia for his alleged dealings with sanctioned oligarch Oleg Deripaska, and with accepting $225,000 in cash from a foreign intelligence service. He was still working for the FBI when the dealings allegedly occurred in 2018 but retired soon after.
McGonigal, now 54, was in charge of the FBI’s counterintelligence division in New York when he retired after a 22-year career. He has pleaded not guilty to charges in New York and in Washington.
Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH), along with committee member Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), wrote a letter to FBI Director Chris Wray on Thursday requesting material and information about McGonigal as part of an investigation into alleged political bias at the Bureau and the larger Department of Justice—or what Jordan has previously called “this weaponization of the DOJ against the American people.”
Citing reports from several news outlets, including The New York Times, Breitbart and The Federalist, that McGonigal played a role in the FBI’s decision to launch its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election—and possible ties between former President Trump’s campaign and Russia—Jordan and Gaetz said McGonigal’s indictment “raises new questions about the FBI’s counterintelligence efforts during his employment” with the Bureau.
The two committee members have requested a briefing to discuss the FBI’s investigation into McGonigal, including whether the Bureau is undertaking any review to determine how Russia and its oligarchs were able to influence senior FBI officials. They have set a February 16 deadline for Director Wray to respond.
The FBI said it has received the letter, but had no further comment.