The US government has found no evidence to support claims that Maltese Professor Joseph Mifsud who prompted an investigation into President Trump’s ties to Russia was an FBI spy.
Mifsud was accused of being a “western intelligence operative” sent to lure the Trump campaign into colluding with Russia.
The US department of justice began investigating allegations of “political bias” in the FBI last year, at the request of Mr Trump’s attorney-general and his Republican allies.
Its conclusions, published yesterday, found no evidence to substantiate a Republican conspiracy theory that Professor Mifsud was sent to entrap the 2016 campaign in a “manufactured Russia-collusion narrative”.
George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign, claimed that Professor Mifsud had told him Russian hackers had obtained emails containing “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, Mr Trump’s opponent. Papadopoulos allegedly repeated the claim to an Australian diplomat who alerted intelligence agencies. The exchange prompted an FBI operation named Crossfire Hurricane.
Papadopoulos was jailed for lying to the FBI about his contact with Professor Mifsud and later accused the academic of being a “CIA or MI6 operative” sent to bait him into a Russian conspiracy.
“We investigated an allegation, raised by Papadopoulos, that the FBI used Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese citizen who was living in London and serving as a university professor, to pass information to Papadopoulos in April 2016 as a set up, so that the FBI could predicate the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. The FBI’s . . . files contain no evidence that Mifsud has ever acted as an FBI CHS [confidential human source] and none of the witnesses we interviewed or documents we reviewed had any information to support such an allegation.”
Professor Mifsud quit and went into hiding soon after his role in the Russia inquiry was exposed in October 2017. A recording emerged last month of a man who claimed to be the professor. He denied knowingly working for intelligence agencies and expressed a wish to return to public life, having had “no human contact” for two years.
The FBI found Professor Mifsud had extensive contacts in Russia, including government officials and a contact in a Russian disinformation programme. Stephan Roh, a lawyer who says he represents Professor Mifsud, denied the academic was a Russian agent and said he worked with western intelligence agencies.
Via The Times (UK)