October 15, 2019 – The DOJ has possession of Joseph Mifsud cell phones
“Inside an otherwise innocuous court filing (full pdf below), General Mike Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, files a motion to compel (MTC) in an effort to gain discovery of the content from two cell phones belonging to Joseph Mifsud. [Hat Tip Techno Fog]
Apparently, according to the information within the filing, the DOJ has somehow gained custody of two cell phones belonging to Mr. Mifsud:
The filing notes that “Western intelligence” likely tasked Mr. Mifsud against General Flynn as early as in order to set up “connections with certain Russians” for later use against him. Essentially, an intelligence entrapment scheme.
Unfortunately, the filing only identifies the cell phones along with the request for the production of the content therein. However, the fact the DOJ has two cell phones belonging to Joseph Mifsud opens up a whole bunch of questions:
#1) How did the US Dept of Justice gain custody of Mr. Mifsud’s cell phones?
#2) Were these Blackberry cell phones issued by U.S. intelligence? (unknown agency)
#3) Why has the U.S. DOJ taken custody of those cell phones?
#4) If #2 is yes, wouldn’t that automatically destroy the “Mifsud as a Russian intelligence asset” narrative?
#5) [Less important] How the heck did Sidney Powell find out about them?
Something is certainly happening here. The cell phone models are from 2011 and 2014.
With U.S. Attorney John Durham and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr traveling to Italy to listen to the taped deposition of Joseph Mifsud last month…and now the discovery that the DOJ has his cell phones from a period of keen interest in the Russia collusion-conspiracy framework…it would appear Mr. Mifsud might just be the Maltese Fulcrum.
In response to the defense Motion to Compel, the U.S. Dept of Justice told Ms. Powell: “if they determine the information is discoverable or relevant to sentencing” they will produce them.
September 27, 2019 – Italian officials provide an audio recording of Joseph Mifsud’s deposition to AG Barr
“Attorney General William Barr reportedly listened to an audio recording of the mysterious professor at the center of the special counsel’s probe during a surprise trip last week to Italy.
Barr met with Italian intelligence officials during the trip, The Daily Beast reported citing Italian officials, and John Durham accompanied him. Durham is a federal prosecutor who is leading an inquiry into FBI and CIA intelligence-gathering activities related to the Trump campaign.
A source in Italy’s Ministry of Justice said that Italian officials played a tape for Barr and Durham, according to The Daily Beast. Another source said the Italians showed the U.S. officials other evidence related to Joseph Mifsud, who was once a Maltese diplomat and has held university positions in the U.K. and Italy.
The tape was a deposition that Mifsud gave after applying for police protection explaining why he might be in harm’s way, according to The Beast. The report said Italian Ministry of Justice records show that Mifsud applied for police protection.
Mifsud was scrutinized in the special counsel’s investigation because of his relationship in 2016 with George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide. Papadopoulos said Mifsud told him during an April 26, 2016 meeting in London that he had learned from Russian government officials that Russia had “dirt” on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands” of her emails.
(…) The special counsel portrayed Mifsud as a possible Russian agent; however, the Malta-born mystery man also has close ties to Western diplomats. He has visited the U.S. State Department and held a position at Rome’s Link Campus University, which has close ties to Western intelligence agencies.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 10/02/2019) (Archive)
August 1, 2019 – John Solomon reports Durham and Horowitz have interviewed Joseph Mifsud and obtained an audio-taped deposition
(…) “Solomon told Sean Hannity that Western asset Joseph Mifsud has already testified and the Durham investigators have already obtained a taped deposition of his testimony.
Last week former US Attorney Joe diGenova also reported that US Attorney John Durham and IG Horowitz have already interviewed Joseph Mifsud.
John Solomon: I can report absolutely that the Durham investigators have now obtained an audio-taped deposition of Joseph Mifsud where he describes his work, why he targeted Papadopoulos, who directed him to do that, what directions he was given and why he set that entire process of introducing George Papadopoulos to Russia in motion in March of 2016. Which is really the flashpoint the start point of this whole Russia collusion narrative.
August 1, 2019 – Opinion: Here Are 5 Big Holes in Mueller’s Work
“Robert Mueller’s two-year, $25.2 million investigation was supposed to provide the definitive account of Donald Trump, Russia and the 2016 election. Yet even after he issued a 448-page report and testified for five hours before Congress, critical aspects remain unexplained, calling into question the basis for the probe and the decisions of those who conducted it.
Time and again in his report and his testimony, Mueller refused to address a wide range of fundamental issues, claiming they were beyond his purview. Some of the issues Mueller and his team did not clarify include whether the FBI had a sound predicate for opening a counterintelligence probe of the Trump campaign; whether the FBI knowingly relied on false material; and the links between U.S. government agencies and key figures who fueled the most explosive claims of an illicit Trump-Russia relationship. Mueller claimed that he was prevented from answering critical questions due to ongoing Justice Department reviews, one by Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham and the other by Inspector General Michael Horowitz. In the meantime, here are some of the biggest mysteries that Mueller’s team left hanging in the air.
Who Is Joseph Mifsud, and Was He the Actual Predicate for the Russia Investigation?
Mueller’s pointed refusal to answer questions about Mifsud underscored that his team did not provide a plausible explanation for the incident that supposedly sparked the Russia investigation in July 2016. Mifsud is the mysterious Maltese professor who reportedly informed Trump campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos that the Russian government had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Their conversation took place in , before the alleged hacking of Democratic Party emails was publicly known. (cont.)
What Was the Role of the Steele Dossier?
Mueller also refused to address another key driver of the Trump-Russia probe – the series of unverified and salacious opposition research memos against Trump secretly financed by the Clinton campaign and the DNC and compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. Some Republicans believe the dossier was the real trigger of the FBI probe and that Mifsud was later used as an excuse by the FBI to cover that up once the dossier’s partisan origins were revealed. As he did with Mifsud, Mueller, who was FBI Director between 2001 and 2013, stonewalled the many Republican efforts to press him on this topic. (more)
Why Did the Mueller Team Invent the Polling Data Theory About Konstantin Kilimnik, and Omit His U.S. Ties?
Mueller also refused to answer critical questions about his report’s portrayal of Konstantin Kilimnik. The longtime business associate of Trump’s one-time campaign manager, Paul Manafort, became central to the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory as a result of the Mueller team’s own innuendo. In January 2019, Mueller accused Manafort of lying about sharing Trump campaign polling data with Kilimnik during the 2016 campaign. According to Mueller, the FBI had assessed that Kilimnik has an unspecified “relationship with Russian intelligence.” In court, Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann repeated that ambiguous claim and tacked on a piece of tantalizing flourish: “This goes to the larger view of what we think is going on, and what we think is the motive here. This goes, I think, very much to the heart of what the special counsel’s office is investigating.” Weissmann’s comments fueled widespread speculation – and even confident assertions – that Kilimnik had passed on the polling data to the Russian government, which then put it to use for its supposed social media interference campaign targeting malleable swing-state voters. (cont.)
Why Did the Mueller Team Falsely Suggest That Trump Tower Moscow Was a Viable Project – and What Was the Role of FBI Informant Felix Sater?
Along with the discredited polling-data theory, House Democrats repeatedly played up the Mueller team’s indictment of Michael Cohen for lying to Congress about the failed effort to build a Trump Tower Moscow. In court filings, the Mueller team insinuated that the project was a viable and lucrative one. Because Cohen had lied to Congress and Trump had denied having business dealings in Russia, Rep. Joaquin Castro asked Mueller if he had assessed whether “President Trump could be vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.” (cont.)
Was Specious Info Leaked to Justify the Absence of Trump-Kremlin Links?
In the absence of evidence tying the Trump campaign to the Kremlin – and a preponderance of leads involving key figures actually tied to the West – U.S. intelligence officials helped cast a pall of suspicion through misleading, and sometimes false, media leaks. In January 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey briefed President-elect Trump on the Steele Dossier’s most explosive allegation: that the Russians had a tape of him with prostitutes in a Moscow Ritz-Carlton hotel room. Comey’s briefing to Trump was leaked to the press, leading to the dossier’s publication by BuzzFeed and cementing the story atop the news cycle for the more than two years since.” (cont.)
July 30, 2019 – The DNC loses their racketeering suit against the Trump campaign, Russian Federation and Wikileaks and others
“Hours before the Democratic presidential debates, a federal judge dismissed the Democratic National Committee’s lawsuit that accused the Trump campaign, the Russian Federation, WikiLeaks and others of interfering in the 2016 elections.
“The primary wrongdoer in this alleged criminal enterprise is undoubtedly [sic] the Russian Federation, the first named defendant in the case and the entity that surreptitiously and illegally hacked into the DNC’s computers and thereafter disseminated the results of its theft,” wrote U.S. District Judge John Koeltl, a Clinton appointee.
Before weighing the evidence against Russia, however, Koeltl found that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act foreclosed him from holding it liable for the DNC server hack.
The DNC blamed a host of secondary actors in a conspiracy, including Russian-linked Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud; oligarchs Emin and Aras Agalarov; and Trump family members and campaign figures like Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos and Roger Stone.
Finding these claims likewise unconvincing, Koeltl ruled that the U.S. Constitution protected them from liability related to disseminating stolen emails.
“The First Amendment prevents such liability in the same way it would preclude liability for press outlets that publish materials of public interest despite defects in the way the materials were obtained so long as the disseminator did not participate in any wrongdoing in obtaining the materials in the first place,” the 81-page opinion states.
Citing precedent from the the Pentagon Papers case, Koeltl held that treating WikiLeaks as an accomplice “would render any journalist who publishes an article based on stolen information a co-conspirator in the theft.”
“If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet,” the opinion states. “But that would impermissibly elevate a purely private privacy interest to override the First Amendment interest in the publication of matters of the highest public concern. The DNC’s published internal communications allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election. This type of information is plainly of the type entitled to the strongest protection that the First Amendment offers.”
WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange argued last year that the DNC’s lawsuit threatened freedom of the press. Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the American Civil Liberties Union echoed those concerns in a friend-of-the-court brief.” (Read more: Courthouse News, 7/30/2019)
July 25, 2019 – WSJ Editorial: What Mueller Was Trying to Hide
By Kimberly Strassel
(…) “The most notable aspect of the Mueller report was always what it omitted: the origins of this mess. Christopher Steele’s dossier was central to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe, the basis of many of the claims of conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. Yet the Mueller authors studiously wrote around the dossier, mentioning it only in perfunctory terms. The report ignored Mr. Steele’s paymaster, Fusion GPS, and its own ties to Russians. It also ignored Fusion’s paymaster, the Clinton campaign, and the ugly politics behind the dossier hit job.
Mr. Mueller’s testimony this week put to rest any doubt that this sheltering was deliberate. In his opening statement he declared that he would not “address questions about the opening of the FBI’s Russia investigation, which occurred months before my appointment, or matters related to the so-called Steele Dossier.” The purpose of those omissions was obvious, as those two areas go to the heart of why the nation has been forced to endure years of collusion fantasy.
Mr. Mueller claimed he couldn’t answer questions about the dossier because it “predated” his tenure and is the subject of a Justice Department investigation. These excuses are disingenuous. Nearly everything Mr. Mueller investigated predated his tenure, and there’s no reason the Justice Department probe bars Mr. Mueller from providing a straightforward, factual account of his team’s handling of the dossier.
If anything, Mr. Mueller had an obligation to answer those questions, since they go to the central failing of his own probe. As Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz asked Mr. Mueller, how could a special-counsel investigation into “Russia’s interference” have any credibility if it failed to look into whether the Steele dossier was itself disinformation from Moscow? Mr. Steele acknowledges that senior Russian officials were the source of his dossier’s claims of an “extensive conspiracy.” Given that no such conspiracy actually existed, Mr. Gaetz asked: “Did Russians really tell that to Christopher Steele, or did he just make it up and was he lying to the FBI?”
Mr. Mueller surreally responded: “As I said earlier, with regard to Steele, that is beyond my purview.”
So it went throughout the whole long day. Republicans asked basic questions about the report’s conclusions or analysis, and Mr. Mueller dodged and weaved and refused to avoid answering questions about the FBI’s legwork, the dossier’s role and Fusion’s involvement. Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot asked how the report could have neglected to mention Fusion’s ties to a Russian company and lawyer. Mr. Mueller: “Outside my purview.” California Rep. Devin Nunes asked several questions about one of the men at the epicenter of the “collusion” conspiracy—academic Joseph Mifsud, whom former FBI Director Jim Comey has tried to paint as a Russian agent. Mr. Mueller: “I am not going to speak to the series of happenings as you articulated them.”
Then again, how could he? The Mueller team, rather than question the FBI’s actions, went out of its way to build on them. That’s how we ended up with tortured plea agreements for process crimes from figures like former Trump aide George Papadopoulos and former national security adviser Michael Flynn. They were peripheral figures in an overhyped drama, who nonetheless had to be scalped to legitimize the early actions of Mr. Comey & Co. Mr. Mueller inherited the taint, and his own efforts were further tarnished. That accounts for Mr. Mueller’s stonewalling.” (Read more: The Wall Street Journal, 7/25/2019)
July 23, 2019 – Durham’s team reaches out to Mifsud to review a deposition he gave last year that suggests he was instructed to put Papadopoulos in touch with Russians
“While most of the political world focused its attention elsewhere, special prosecutor John Durham’s team quietly reached out this summer to a lawyer representing European academic Joseph Mifsud, one of the earliest and most mysterious figures in the now closed Russia-collusion case.
An investigator told Swiss attorney Stephan Roh that Durham’s team wanted to interview Mifsud, or at the very least review a recorded deposition the professor gave in summer 2018 about his role in the drama involving Donald Trump, Russia and the 2016 election.
(…) For those who don’t remember, Mifsud is a Maltese-born academic with a VIP Rolodex who frequented Rome and London for years and engaged at the highest levels of Western diplomatic and intelligence circles.
Mueller’s team alleges that Mifsud is the person who fed a story in spring 2016 to Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos about Moscow possessing purloined emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It was the earliest known contact in the now-debunked collusion narrative and the seminal event that the FBI says prompted it on July 31, 2016, to open its probe into the Trump campaign.
Mueller concluded that Mifsud was a person with extensive Russia ties who planted the story about the Clinton emails in Moscow and then lied about his dealings with Papadopoulos when interviewed by the FBI in 2017. Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Mifsud.
(…) Conservative defenders of President Trump, including former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), have raised recent concerns that Mueller’s portrayal of the Mifsud-Papadopoulos contacts doesn’t add up.
Roh told me the information he is preparing to share with Durham’s team from his client will accentuate those concerns.
Mifsud was a “longtime cooperator of western intel” who was asked specifically by his contacts at Link University in Rome and the London Center of International Law Practice (LCILP) — two academic groups with ties to Western diplomacy and intelligence — to meet with Papadopoulos at a dinner in Rome in mid-March 2016, Roh told me.
A May 2019 letter from Nunes to U.S. intelligence officials corroborates some of Roh’s account, revealing photos showing that the FBI conducted training at Link in fall 2016 and that Mifsud and other Link officials met regularly with world leaders, including Boris Johnson, elected today as Britain’s new prime minister.
A few days after the March dinner, Roh added, Mifsud received instructions from Link superiors to “put Papadopoulos in contact with Russians,” including a think tank figure named Ivan Timofeev and a woman he was instructed to identify to Papadopoulos as Vladimir Putin’s niece.
Mifsud knew the woman was not the Russian president’s niece but, rather, a student who was involved with both the Link and LCILP campuses, and the professor believed there was an effort underway to determine whether Papadopoulos was an “agent provocateur” seeking foreign contacts, Roh said.
The evidence, he told me, “clearly indicates that this was not only a surveillance op but a more sophisticated intel operation” in which Mifsud became involved.” (Read more: The Hill, 7/23/2019)
- 2016 Election
- Clinton emails
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- George Papadopoulos
- Ivan Timofeev
- John Durham
- Joseph Mifsud
- July 2019
- Link Campus University Rome
- London Academy of Diplomacy (LAD)
- Stephan Roh
- The London Centre for International Law Practice (LCILP)
- Trump campaign
- Trump Russia collusion
May 20, 2019 – Devin Nunes challenges the FBI to prove Joseph Mifsud is a Russian operative
Devin Nunes outlines his request to intelligence agencies to prove Joseph Mifsud is a Russian intelligence operative. Apparently the current FBI is avoiding a response.
Hell, it’s not difficult to predict where the Mifsud story ends up. It’s likely to come out that Mifsud was working for British intelligence interests; on or off-the-books; and friendly with dossier author Chris Steele (Orbis etc.).
May 16, 2019 – George Papadopoulos says the FBI tried to get his wife to ‘entrap’ him
Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos said Thursday that the FBI tried to get his wife to wear a wire to “entrap” him and that he thinks Congress “probably has transcripts” of meetings he had that prove he was spied on by the FBI.
“Besides the FBI trying to have my then-girlfriend, now wife, actually wear a wire to try to entrap me herself — which was completely crazy — she was an Italian citizen visiting me as a girlfriend. And they subpoenaed her and tried to flip her against me, which was incredibly bizarre,” Papadopoulos said on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
Papadopoulos said he believes his wife was targeted because she knew all about academic Joseph Mifsud’s connection to Italian government.
“But what we believed that they really targeted her for is, we believe she knew all about Joseph Mifsud’s connections to the Italian government and his connections in Europe, which we just found out today that … the prime minister … just fired the heads of three intel agencies in Italy. And I think it has to do with the person, Joseph Mifsud, who the president and Devin Nunes and other people have been asking the government in Italy to examine a lot more because he’s actually at the core of this entire scam,” Papadopoulos said.
Mifsud, 59, a professor from Malta who helped ignite the Russia probe in 2016, has largely vanished from the public eye since his name began surfacing in news stories. Nunes, a California Republican, is ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee.” (Read more: Fox News, 5/17/2019)
May 16, 2016 – Spygate fallout? The Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conté, calls for the resignations of top Italian intelligence officials
“Apparently, the Italian media is reporting that Prime Minister Giuseppe Conté has requested the resignations of several top Italian intelligence officials. The move is being interpreted as the Conte’ government responding to the previous governments’ coordinated activity with U.S. intelligence officials during the 2016 U.S. election surrounding “Spygate”.
Prime Minister Conté visited with President Trump in June 2018 at the White House; and reflects a more nationalistic outlook in Italy. Conte’ has high approval in the country; however, it appears the socialists (including media) are outraged at the challenge to the intelligence apparatus.”
(Via Google Translate) The senator of the Pd Luigi Zanda presented an urgent question to the President of the Council after the news appeared today in the newspaper La Repubblica about a presumed request for the resignation of the four deputy directors of the departments of the Italian secret services.
“The facts reported, if confirmed, appear to be of absolute gravity, providing for the application of a system of rigid spoil system and a real political subdivision applied to the intelligence system, which is entrusted with the security of our country” reads in the question, where it is underlined that “such behavior would risk not only to question the operational efficiency of our intelligence systems in a very delicate moment, but also to destroy their credibility in the precious international information network, which finds its fundamentals in professionalism, independence and in the absence of political interests in the heads of the secret services of the countries to which we are connected “.
Zanda therefore asks the President of the Council to know “if the facts reported in the introduction correspond to the truth and, if so, if he intends to revoke the request for resignation, and what urgent initiatives he intends to take to ensure that the appointments of the directors and deputy directors of our security system always respond to criteria of operational efficiency and are never subjected to the logic of political subdivision “.
The senator of the Democratic Party Roberta Pinotti, former Minister of Defense, subscribes to the question. “Intelligence and security services – he said – are a good of the state to safeguard the community and we cannot think of naming the top on the basis of spoil system logics”. “I do not remember that the change of service executives ever took place in the fullness of their mandate, not as a result of any errors or serious shortcomings, but simply to politically reorient the offices“.
“If the press reports were confirmed, we would be faced with an episode that would humiliate the structure of our Intelligence and the people involved and that would create a very serious precedent, establishing an extremely dangerous and unacceptable practice in a democratic country,” concludes Pinotti. (La Repubblica)