Criminal case against former top FBI official Charles McGonigal will include classified information: Prosecutor

(NEW YORK) — The criminal case against former FBI agent Charles McGonigal will include classified information along with electronic communications, financial records and surveillance photos, a prosecutor said Thursday during a court hearing.

McGonigal, who has pleaded not guilty to charges over his ties to sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, appeared next to his attorney and a co-defendant and said nothing.

Prosecutors disclosed the types of evidence they expected to use and the judge instructed the two sides to work on a protective order to make sure nothing classified is disclosed.

The defense was granted an additional 90 days to review all of the evidence disclosed so far. An attorney for McGonigal’s co-defendant, former Russian diplomat Sergey Shestakov, demanded the government search the files of intelligence agencies for evidence that might be useful to the defense.

“Was the NSA or CIA up on any intercepted transmissions of Deripaska?” asked Shestakov’s lawyer, Rita Glavin, adding that such evidence could be “central to our defense.”

Glavin denied her client, a U.S. citizen since 1993, worked with Deripaska or was a traitor or a spy as she said was portrayed by the government when announcing the charges.

“The implication from the press release is he’s a traitor and that is simply not true,” Glavin said.

Shestakov is charged in the same indictment as McGonigal, a former counterintelligence leader in the FBI’s New York Field Office, with allegedly providing services to Deripaska after McGonigal retired from the bureau despite knowing about U.S. sanctions on Deripaska for enabling Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

McGonigal is charged separately in Washington, D.C., with taking money from an Albanian while still at the FBI. He also pleaded not guilty in that case.

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