Joseph Mifsud, a mysterious professor who was central to the events that allegedly kicked off the FBI’s investigation into whether President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia to steal the election, told FBI agents in February 2017 that he never had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton and therefore never told Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos that he did.
Further, recently declassified notes from the FBI’s interview of Mifsud reveal the bureau didn’t seem to consider him a “Russian spy,” as was alleged by the media and Democrats throughout the years spent suggesting Mifsud was such. Ex-FBI Director James Comey even called Mifsud a “Russian agent” in a May 2019 op-ed for The Washington Post.
Yet the FBI seemingly let this individual provide answers in a short interview and never charged him with any crimes relating to Russian interference in the election. Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russian narrative claimed Mifsud told Papadopoulos in April 2016 that the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton, referring to hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee. The FBI’s “302” file on its interview with Mifsud, however, states that the Maltese professor said he had “no advance knowledge Russia was in possession of emails from the Democratic National Committee and, therefore, did not make any offers or proffer any information” to Papadopoulos.
Mifsud told the FBI that he and Papadopoulos “spoke about cyber security and hacking as a larger issue,” and suggested Papadopoulos “must have misunderstood their conversation” to claim that Mifsud offered negative information on Clinton.
An attorney on Twitter who uses the handle Techno Fog explained that Mueller’s report “played up Mifsud’s ‘connections to Russia,’” yet the FBI didn’t ask the professor about these alleged connections and didn’t appear to follow up on any additional questions raised during the investigation. Further, the Mueller report alleged that Papadopoulos lied to the FBI about whether he was working for the Trump campaign when he met with Mifsud in the United Kingdom — the meeting where Mifsud allegedly referenced dirt on Clinton — and that this lie impeded the bureau’s ability to question Mifsud effectively. Except, as Techno Fog pointed out, Mifsud himself told the FBI, according to the 302, that Papadopoulos was with the Trump campaign when the two met.
The Mueller report also suggested that Papadopoulos’ lies prevented them from figuring out Mifsud’s connection in the whole narrative, yet the documents released today make clear the FBI never followed-up with Mifsud and barely asked him any questions during his interview.
In May 2019, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) sent a letter to the U.S. State Department and the CIA suggesting that “if Mifsud is the dangerous liaison Mueller made him out to be, then many more Western politicians have been compromised, as many have had their own contact with the professor.”
“Alternatively, if Mifsud is not in fact a counterintelligence threat, then that would cast doubt on the Special Counsel’s fundamental depiction of him and his activities, and raise questions about the veracity of the Special Counsel’s statements and affirmations,” Nunes wrote.
“It should be noted that the Special Counsel declined to charge Mifsud with any crime even though, to justify seeking a prison sentence for Papadopoulos, the Special Counsel claimed Papadopoulos’ untruthful testimony ‘undermined investigators’ ability to challenge the Professor [Mifsud] or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States,’” Nunes continued. “Furthermore, it’s still a mystery how the FBI knew to ask Papadopoulos specifically about Hillary Clinton’s emails, on multiple occasions throughout 2016-17 before having interviewed Mifsud, if the FBI hadn’t already somehow received this information directly or indirectly from Mifsud himself.”