This is Euronews Albania journalist Jonida Shehu’s exclusive interview with Allison Guerrero, former FBI agent Charles Mcgonagall’s ex-girlfriend after her confessional article posted by the Business Insider following McGonigal’s arrest in the United States.
Q: How have you been feeling during this period?
Allison Guerrero: I feel good. I knew this was coming and I’m glad I partnered with Insider who wrote a fantastic article. I didn’t want it to just be a rumour, I wanted to give an interview so that everything said about me came from me.
Q: How has the media treated you after the publication of the McGonigal affair?
Allison Guerrero: I feel good, I had no idea Charlie was doing what he was doing. I am shocked that he was working with the Russians and taking bribes from them. I’m glad the media is covering this story because he needs to go to jail for a long time.
Q: The Business Insider article also said that you sent an e-mail to the head of the FBI where you wrote that they should look carefully at McGonigal’s extramarital affairs and the deals with Albania. What deals were you talking about?
Allison Guerriero: I don’t know what the deals were, I don’t remember what was in that email because I was drunk when I sent it. I remember sending that email and I knew he was going to Albania and Kosovo without telling the FBI and that’s all I know. I don’t know more details about this.
Q: Who would McGonigall meet in Albania? In your knowledge, who would he meet and what purpose would these meetings have?
Allison Guerriero: He was going to Albania to meet with Prime Minister Edi Rama, but he would not tell me who the object of the meeting was.
Q: What relationship did McGonigall have with Prime Minister Edi Rama?
Allison: I believe they were personal friends and spoke on the phone frequently.
How often did they talk on the phone?
Allison Guerriero: Charli called Prime Minister Rama in my presence not often, but he often told me that he was a good friend.
Do you know Agro Neza? A close associate of your ex-boyfriend, have you heard of him?
Allison Guerriero: I have never met Mr. Neza, I don’t know him. Charli has mentioned him as a friend of his and that’s it. And that they had traveled together to Albania, to Vienna and to Kosovo by car from Albania.
Did McGonigal trust you?
Allison Guerriero: We both trusted each other a lot but we didn’t discuss things about our work in detail. I just got the basic information about where he would go and who he would meet, but he didn’t know and he didn’t tell me that there were illegal things in these activities.
Did you have any doubts?
Allison Guerriero: No because I really trusted him.
What was the moment when you decided to send the email? Why did you do it?
Allison Guerriero: I was a very good friend of William F. Seeney, we were close friends and I trusted him a lot. There was a time when I thought he cheated on me and it didn’t have much to do with Charlie. The day I sent the email I was at the funeral of a close family member and I was drunk and made a mistake I shouldn’t have made.
Do you regret sending the email and reporting McGonigal?
Allison Guerriero: I don’t regret sending the email, I regret sending it drunk. I could have done better if I was sober. I don’t regret sending that email.
What response did your friend and MCGonigal colleague get from the head of the FBI? What happened after that email?
Allison Guerriero: Nothing happened, he ignored me. And I don’t believe this investigation was prompted by that email. I believe the McGonigal investigation started two years after that, so I was not the source of any information that was the basis for an investigation. Nothing came of that email.
When is that email dated?
Allison Guerriero: In 2019
The FBI came to your house and showed you some photos?
Allison Guerriero: they subpoenaing me to come forward and determine if I’d be a good witness against McGonigal. They interviewed me and then decided that I had nothing to offer as a witness. It was decided by the investigative body that I would not qualify as a witness.
What questions did the FBI ask you about Albania?
Allison Guerriero: Yes, they asked me about Albania, I said no more than I said in this interview that I don’t know anything about what Charlie was doing in Albania. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to risk that I might compromise the case against him, I will take everything to court. I will let the court do its job and the evidence will speak for itself all the answers will be given in due time.
Have you been contacted by people close to McGonigal, including people from Albania?
Alison Guerriero: No and that’s where I’m done no more answers. No one has contacted me.
How did you meet Charle McGonigal?
Allison Guerriero: We had a very good relationship. He took great care of me, I had a lot of caresses from him. I have had many health problems and he has treated me very well and I appreciate the care he has had for me.
How many years were you together?
Allison Guerriero: Almost 18 months? We had mutual friends for a while, we lived together, he knew my family. He knew my cousins, he knew my father, we went to activities, funerals or parties together. We had many mutual friends who were our colleagues whom we met through work but also other people.
What were you doing at the time you were with McGonigal?
Allison: I’m a security contractor but I can’t talk much because it’s a trade secret. I am working as a contractor for several companies and do security analysis between various federal and state agencies of the US government.
What kind of lifestyle did McGonigal have?
Allison Guerriero: He was more materialistic than me. He liked expensive restaurants while I preferred to go to an ordinary fast-food. McGonigal liked expensive wines, expensive clothes, and it seemed to me that he liked New York life. He liked to be close to power and money more than my taste might be. He tried to impress people materially.
Did McGonigal lead a lifestyle that matched his income?
Allison Guerriero: I don’t know, because he didn’t spend much on me, we just went to expensive restaurants. I am not a materialistic person and I have never asked him to buy me things. He always went to expensive places but he told me it was for work. Now that I see the charges, I also wonder where he got that money from?
Tell me a little about the moments when you saw bags of money at home?
Allison Guerriero: One morning when we were on our way to work, I noticed a plastic bag with cash next to my shoes on the floor. I asked him who they were for and where they were from, but he told me that he had placed a bet on a baseball game and won. I believed him because I had no reason not to believe him. I was busy with my work and said: OK, very nice! I didn’t pay much attention to his actions. During our relationship in January of 2017 I had a double vasectomy and I was very worried about myself. I didn’t pay much attention to what Charlie was doing. I had my job and a serious illness.
Have you had doubts about his income?
Allison Guerriero: I had no doubts about McGonigal’s income. Only that bag of money where I saw a large amount of money which I questioned. In New York, having 5-10 thousand dollars in cash is not a big deal, it’s life itself and it’s common for people to have that much cash with them. I haven’t seen him come with big bags of cash other times to make me suspicious.
What was the moment that made you doubt and then you summarized these doubts in an email and sent to the head of the FBI?
Allison Guerriero: Sweeny was a very good friend of mine. The FBI was investigating another case where I was taken as a witness and I was treated extremely badly, it felt like Bill had betrayed me. The grand jury decided not to open an investigation and by mistake I got drunk one night and sent him that email saying if you’re not trying this crime why don’t you look at Charlie having extramarital affairs with me because Bill knew about us. I felt betrayed, I was angry at Bill who I had known for years even before Charlie, that’s the origin of that email.
Why is his trip to Albania mentioned in the email? And what did you suspect about his trips to Albania?
Allison Guerriero: Towards the end of our relationship I felt something was wrong but I didn’t know what exactly. I never imagined that he would betray the United States. This is what makes me really angry that he has not only betrayed me, my family and his own, but also the USA, our country. America’s enemies are my enemies too, I believe he should be in prison for the rest of his life for what he has done. I am sure that there may be many more than those accusations that Charlie may be connected to both in Albania, with the Russians, but also in other countries of the Balkans. But even here in the USA where he has compromised the national security as well as that of other NATO countries.
Q: Why are you sure that there were dangerous reports in Albania?
Allison Guerriero: Charlie told me that he was friends with Prime Minister Rama and it seemed unusual for an FBI agent of this high level to have such a friendship. They often spoke on the phone with Viasat and he showed me photos of them together. It seemed to me an unusual friendship. When Rama was in New York, Charlie told me that they had dinner together at an expensive restaurant, and to me that was something an FBI agent shouldn’t do.
Q: Did McGonigal and Rama meet often?
Allison Guerriero: They met in Albania, and Charlie texted me in September 2017 when he was there. He told me that he would travel to Albania and Kosovo.
Q: He was telling you about trips that he hadn’t reported to his bosses, so that means he trusted you, right?
Allison Guerriero: Actually he just showed me some pictures of the landscapes of Albania. He was simply telling me that he was busy with work and sent me photos with Prime Minister Rama that the FBI already has.
Q: Did you talk to him about work?
Allison: No we weren’t talking about work. Or about his colleagues or what he did at work.
Q:How was his relationship with his family?
Allison Guerriero: He had a very good relationship with his children, spending time with them once or twice a month. I’m a little sorry for his wife, I wrote about this in the confession I gave to Insider, I’m sorry for what happened to that woman. I don’t want his family and children to be affected.
Did you feel lied to or used in your relationship with McGonigal?
Allison: Yeah, but I’m already over it.
Did he promise you that you would marry together? What plans were you making?
Allison Guerriero: We haven’t talked about marriage. I don’t want to be married at all if I wanted to be married I would have done it years ago because I am 49 years old. I didn’t want children, I like being single, I like the company of a boyfriend and Charlie provided good company, he was charming. He was an outgoing guy and people were attracted to him socially and wanted to be around us because we were both such people, and we were involved in high society in New York, it’s a closed but high network of forces and safety. I just wanted to be his girlfriend.
What made you upset with McGonigal then sending the email?
Allison Guerriero: I was upset because when I was his girlfriend I thought he would break up soon but I had no idea that his marriage was intact. When he told me that he was never separated, never going to divorce, and that he had another life in Maryland that he went to once or twice a month, my world fell on me, I was devastated. Now I feel good because he is a traitor who has harmed people in the USA and Albania.
Q:You have been emailing his wife constantly. Did she answer?
Allison Guerriero: She would call my dad and harass him and he never responded. Both of us have hurt each other but they are in the past. She also filed a lawsuit against me where she lied that I could have caused the death. I have never met his wife. We then reached an agreement and it is part of the trial in Maryland. As for the phone calls I made, I was simply drunk and dialed her number over and over.
Q:Were there other people who might know McGonigal’s secrets?
Allison Guerriero: There was a mutual friend who told me that she knew Charlie had a boyfriend and I said: It’s me!
Q:Do you think McGonigal is guilty?
Allison Guerriero: Yes for me yes.
Q: What kind of man was he?
Allison Guerriero: He was kind and very dedicated. A happy, generous man, he liked to do favors. He was never wild. Professionally, he was very good.
Q:Now what do you think about him?
Allison Guerriero: Now I consider him a traitor. If I had known, I wouldn’t have stayed with him. I’m full of anger and I think he deserves what he’s going to get. I had no idea he was involved with the Russians, I thought he was just hanging out with Rama and I believed him. Now I consider him an evil man, who has betrayed the country. It’s as evil as Putin himself because he worked for the FBI, he switched teams for money. I am very surprised with what he did and why he did it.
Q:How is this issue being discussed in the US right now?
Allison Guerriero: I’m not following it much because I’m busy with work. But our entire media and both political wings are outraged. Now he is a hated person.
Allison Guerriero: He’s free after paying his bail.
Q: Has he made any attempts to communicate with you?
Allison Guerriero: No he hasn’t made any attempts.
Q:Do you think he risks a serious punishment?
Allison Guerriero: I don’t know, I just know he has a great lawyer. We have to wait for the court’s decision, maybe it will come down to a deal to make a smaller sentence and be found guilty, or not accept them and evaluate the jury if they are found guilty.
Q:Do you think you will meet him one day?
Allison Guerriero: No
Q:Are you afraid?
Allison Guerriero: No I’m not afraid. I’m not scared at all, even less of him.
Q: How has your life changed?
Allison Guerriero: It hasn’t affected me or my family, we’re just shocked and upset with why he did it that’s all. My cousins and my father kind of loathe all of it.
Q: Who do you live with right now?
Allison Guerriero: I live alone and I’m single