House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes is scrutinizing the findings in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report about Joseph Mifsud -- the mysterious professor from Malta who helped ignite the Russia probe in 2016 – and wants to know exactly who he was working for when he spoke with former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos.
It has long been suggested that Mifsud was connected to Russian intelligence. But Nunes, in a Friday letter obtained by Fox News, questions that assumption, saying Mueller’s report “omits any mention of a wide range of contacts Mifsud had with Western political institutions and individuals.”
Mifsud is a crucial figure in the report: Mueller’s report states that Mifsud was the one who told Papadopoulos in April 2016 that the Russians had “dirt” in the form of emails that could damage Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
As the story goes, Papadopoulos then told Australian diplomat Alexander Downer about his conversations with Mifsud. Downer then informed U.S. officials, leading the FBI to open its investigation into whether Trump associates were coordinating with Russia during the 2016 election.
Nunes also is seeking information about the FBI’s contacts with Mifsud – asking how the bureau knew to question Papadopoulos specifically about Clinton’s emails if it hadn’t already spoken to Mifsud. The congressman said, “it’s still a mystery how the FBI knew to ask Papadopoulos specifically about Hillary Clinton’s emails…”
Nunes’ letter is addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel, National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone and FBI Director Chris Wray. It asks them to hand over all information they have on Mifsud by May 10.
In his letter, Nunes presents photographic evidence of Mifsud in close proximity to influential Western political and government officials.
“If Mifsud has extensive, suspicious contacts among Russian officials as portrayed in the special counsel’s report, then an incredibly wide range of Western institutions and individuals may have been compromised by him, including our own State Department,” Nunes wrote.
He added: “In fact, this could entail a major scandal for U.S. and allied governments.”
Alternatively, Nunes wrote that if Mifsud isn’t a counterintelligence threat, as implied in the Mueller report, he could have done extensive damage to Western national security. The California Republican wrote that if that’s the case, it “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.”
The State Department and the FBI declined to comment. Fox News has also requested comment from the CIA and the National Security Agency.
Mifsud has vanished from public eye after his name began surfacing in news stories.