Ex-FBI counterspy chief McGonigal pleads guilty in payment plot

Former FBI counterintelligence chief Robert P. McGonigal on Wednesday pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in a federal case involving a scheme to accept payments in exchange for influencing the Bureau’s operations.


McGonigal pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington to one count of conspiracy for participating in a scheme to solicit and accept improper payments from foreign intelligence sources in exchange for influencing the FBI’s operations. Prosecutors say he accepted more than $100,000 in payments between 2018 and 2019.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu said McGonigal “abused his position in the FBI to benefit himself and foreign entities,” adding that the case “reflects our commitment to holding accountable those who betray their official obligations and act as if immunity from prosecution derives solely from occupying a position of high authority.”

McGonigal resigned from the FBI in 2019 following an investigation related to the criminal case. He is scheduled to be sentenced in July and could face up to five years in prison.

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