Joseph Mifsud, the Russia-linked Maltese academic accused of attempting to entrap President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign official George Papadopoulos at the behest of the Obama Justice Department, has reportedly given an audio deposition to U.S. Attorney John Durham, according to investigative reporter 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,” Solomon revealed Thursday on Fox News.
Durham is the “hard-charging, bulldog” prosecutor who was tapped by Attorney General Bill Barr three months ago to investigate the dubious origins of the debunked Russia collusion narrative.
Listen via FNC’s “Hannity“:
It’s been alleged by reporters such as Solomon that the Obama Justice Department had sought to link Papadopoulos and other Trump campaign officials to Russia so as to purposefully tout the narrative that the now-president had colluded with Russian operatives during the election to affect its outcome, i.e., that he’d cheated to win, meaning his victory wasn’t legitimate.
Using both the reportedly faulty information provided by Mifsud and the contents of the now-infamous Steele dossier, the Obama Justice Department eventually obtained FISA court-approved surveillance warrants on Trump’s campaign. It’s believed these warrants were essentially obtained illegally under the direction of then-FBI Director James Comey.
In a report published earlier this week, Solomon revealed that, according to his sources, Comey and his peers within the FBI and the DOJ “face legal jeopardy” as per interactions with the FISA court.
“There are significant issues emerging with how the FISA was handled and other conduct in the investigation, and everyone involved remains under scrutiny,” one source reportedly said.
Meanwhile, the disgraced former FBI director was reportedly referred to Barr for prosecution by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz over the memo fiasco, though the attorney general ultimately decided to not pursue it. Solomon explained why below:
In short, Barr refused to prosecute because he has bigger fish to fry, i.e., he’s focused on the larger alleged conspiracy to essentially oust Trump from office.
In his report for The Hill, Solomon did note one important aspect of the IG’s recommendation: It reaffirmed “what has become painfully clear to Americans the past two years: Comey entered the FBI chief’s job with a reputation for excellence but ran a bureau that suffered from ineptitude, political shenanigans, leaking and significant human failings, all of which sharply contrast with the morality lectures he’s become famous for frequently offering since he was fired.”
All this dovetails back to Mifsud. So who exactly is he?
“He’s a Maltese diplomat who’s widely portrayed as a Russian agent, but seems to have far more connections with Western governments, including our own FBI and our own State Department, than with Russia,” House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes revealed during former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before the committee last week.
Investigative reporter Eric Felten of RealClearInvestigations has the rest of the story:
“To understand the centrality of Mifsud’s role, one has to go back to the end of 2017,” he wrote in an in-depth report Tuesday. “That’s when Republicans were pointing to misleading and incomplete claims in the Department of Justice application to surveil onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.”
“Republicans, in a January 2018 House Intel committee memo, argued the counterintelligence investigation into Trump’s campaign was tainted because it had relied on Christopher Steele’s stories, ‘even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.'”
Democrats claimed they were wrong.
They specifically alleged that “[t]he real predicate was George Papadopoulos … to whom ‘Russian agents previewed their hack and dissemination of stolen emails.'”
By Russian agents, they meant Mifsud.
“According to the special counsel’s report, leading the Russian effort was Joseph Mifsud,” Felten notes. “The report suggests that when the previously unknown Papadopoulos learned he would be an adviser to the Trump campaign in March 2016, Vladimir Putin’s intelligence service called on a friendly professor to share with the low-level, then-29-year-old campaign volunteer news about Russia’s ongoing, top-secret efforts to hack Hillary Clinton-affiliated computer systems.”
But it’s now believed that he was also an intelligence asset for the Obama DOJ. In fact, he has a history of working with Western entities, not Russian ones.
Remember when Comey penned an op ed in the prestigious Washington Post and lied to both the American people and editors when he called Mifsud a Russian agent? My testimony in front of the Senate should be interesting.
— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) August 2, 2019
Biggest scandal in modern American history!
— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) August 2, 2019
“Although Mifsud has traveled many times to Russia and has contacts with Russian academics, his closest public ties are to Western governments, politicians, and institutions, including the CIA, FBI and British intelligence services,” RealClearInvestigations notes.
“Now that Republicans are openly asking whether Mifsud might be a Western intelligence agent, they are posing the possibility that Mifsud’s approach to Papadopoulos was a counterintelligence sting rather than a Russian operation. These were questions Robert Mueller would not or could not answer,” Felten concluded.
The problem is, Mueller made no attempts to answer such questions during his investigation into Russian collusion. Nor did he dig into the Steele dossier. Luckily for those seeking answers, however, Durham’s currently on the job.
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