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Mon Jul 1, 2019, 09:39 AM

'The enigma of the entire Mueller probe': Focus on origins of Russian investigation puts...

‘The enigma of the entire Mueller probe’: Focus on origins of Russian investigation puts spotlight on Maltese professor

By Rosalind S. Helderman, Shane Harris and Ellen Nakashima June 30 at 6:07 PM

Shortly after Joseph Mifsud’s efforts to help connect a Trump adviser with the Kremlin were detailed in court filings, an Italian reporter found him at a university in Rome, where he was serving as a visiting professor.

“I never got any money from the Russians: my conscience is clear,” Mifsud told La Repubblica. “I am not a secret agent.” Then Mifsud disappeared.

The Maltese-born academic has not surfaced publicly since that October 2017 interview, days after Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about details of their interactions. Among them, Papadopoulos told investigators, was an April 2016 meeting in which Mifsud alerted him that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.”

The conversation between Mifsud and Papadopoulos, eventually relayed by an Australian diplomat to U.S. government officials, was cited by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III as the event that set in motion the FBI probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

With Attorney General William P. Barr’s review of the counterintelligence investigation underway, the origins of the inquiry itself are now in the spotlight — and with them, the role of Mifsud, a little-known figure.

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-enigma-of-the-entire-mueller-probe-focus-on-origins-of-russian-investigation-puts-spotlight-on-maltese-professor/2019/06/30/b374fe8c-8185-11e9-bce7-40b4105f7ca0_story.html

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