A former top New York FBI agent who helped trigger the investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia has himself “come under scrutiny” by federal prosecutors for his own ties to the Kremlin and other foreign governments, a report said Thursday. 

A federal grand jury convened in 2021 may be examining former FBI Special Agent in Charge Charles McGonigal’s apparent links to a top aide to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, Insider reported, citing a leaked grand jury subpoena document. 

McGonigal, who retired from the bureau in 2018, led the FBI’s counterintelligence division in New York and also served as the cyber-counterintelligence section chief in Washington, according to his LinkedIn page. 

In his role at agency headquarters, he was one of the first G-men to learn that a Trump campaign official claimed that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, helping spark the sprawling collusion investigation, Insider reported. 

Charles McGonigal was special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division for the New York Field Office of the FBI under James Comey.

Deripaska, a Russian billionaire with ties to the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, played a central role in the investigation, which consumed much of Trump’s term of office, Insider reported. 

The November 2021 document obtained by Insider requests records and communications related to Spectrum Risk Solutions, a consulting firm. McGonigal helped another person “facilitate” an introduction between the firm and Deripaska’s aide, according to the report. 

The grand jury document also requests communications that the unnamed subject of the subpoena had with McGonigal regarding other foreign countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania. 

Oleg Deripaska
Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska addresses media representatives during a press conference in Moscow on June 28, 2022.
AFP via Getty Images

The document asks that inquiries regarding the subpoena be directed to an FBI agent in Los Angeles, according to the report. 

It does not indicate whether McGonigal is the target of a grand jury investigation or whether his actions are part of a FBI probe into another person. 

McGonigal, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, did not return a request for comment. He most recently worked as a senior vice president for security at a multibillion-dollar real estate company in New York, but a spokesman for the company told Insider he had left that post in January of this year.


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