- The Duran Quick Take: Episode 275.
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss U.S. Attorney John Durham and Senator Lindsey Graham have now obtained and audio deposition of Clinton Foundation tipster, and Russiagate instigator, mysterious Maltese Professor Joseph Mifsud.
U.S. Attorney John Durham and Sen. Lindsey Graham, leading separate inquiries into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, have obtained an audio deposition of Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious Maltese academic who claimed Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
The revelation about Mifsud came from The Hill’s John Solomon, who spoke with Sean Hannity on Fox News last Thursday. Solomon’s widely reported bombshell last week was that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz had criminally referred former FBI James Comey to the DOJ because of his alleged leaking of classified information in his memos and a lack of candor with investigators, but the DOJ declined prosecution.
But this tidbit about Mifsud made fewer headlines.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report, released in April with redactions, stated Mifsud traveled to Moscow in April 2016, after which he met George Papadopoulos in London. Mueller’s report said that during this meeting, Mifsud informed Papadopoulos he learned the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” Papadopoulos later repeated this claim to Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, who informed the U.S. government and prompted the original counterintelligence investigation into Trump’s campaign in 2016.
Mifsud’s alleged attorney Stephan Roh said in late July that Durham intended to interview Mifsud. He said that if an interview failed to pan out, Durham’s team at least wanted to view a recorded deposition Mifsud gave in 2018 on his role in the Trump-Russia controversy. Roh said he would provide at least one page of the deposition to Durham’s investigators.
Solomon told Hannity that Durham’s team “obtained an audiotaped 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.”
Solomon called the meeting between Papadopoulos and Mifsud “really the flash point, the starting point of this whole Russia collusion narrative.” And Solomon said Graham “has also obtained the same deposition.”
“So you now have the Senate and a federal prosecutor,” Solomon said.
Attorney General William Barr was given total “declassification authority” by President Trump to look into the way the Justice Department and the FBI handled the inquiry into Trump, and picked Durham to be his right-hand man in the effort. Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has promised his own “deep dive,” as well.
Neither DOJ nor Graham’s office immediately responded to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.
Mifsud has denied that he told Papadopoulos the Russians had Clinton’s emails, and Roh claims his client has cooperated with Western intelligence, not Russian intelligence, aligning with what GOP investigators such as California Rep. Devin Nunes have said.
Mueller’s report only went so far as to say Mifsud “had connections to Russia” and “maintained various Russian contacts,” including with a former employee of the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm that investigators said carried out a social media disinformation campaign to sow discord in the 2016 election.
As part of Mueller’s Russia investigation, Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October 2017 to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Mifsud and served 12 days in prison late last year.
Horowitz’s leak inquiry on Comey was just a narrow slice of the broader investigation that he launched in March of last year into allegations of wrongdoing at the department and the FBI related to the use of the dossier, compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele, to obtain warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to surveil Trump’s campaign.
Horowitz’s report is expected to be released after Labor Day.
The “investigation of the investigators” being led by Barr and Durham is ongoing as well.