This week began with the bombshell legal news that Special Counsel Robert Mueller brought charges against members of Team Trump relating to their illicit ties to Moscow. As I explained, this fundamentally changes the game in our nation’s capital, and the White House is struggling to cope with this new environment, which finds the president on the defensive, awaiting further indictments of his associates.
No aspect of this week’s news is more mysterious than the saga of “the Professor”—in reality, Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese national—who served as the hush-hush go-between for the Trump campaign and the Kremlin in the spring of 2016. Notably, he acted as Moscow’s cut-out for contacts with George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor hired by the Trump campaign in the late winter of 2016.
Mifsud’s role is crystal-clear to anyone versed in Russian espionage tradecraft, what the Kremlin calls konspiratsiya (yes, “conspiracy”). He is a secret operative of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR, as I elaborated:
Papadopoulos met “the Professor” in Italy in mid-March 2016, then again in London later that month; on the latter occasion “the Professor” brought along a Russian female, allegedly Putin’s niece, to help facilitate the engagement. Papadopoulos emailed the campaign about the success of this meeting, which responded enthusiastically about what had transpired and on March 31, he participated in a national security meeting in Washington that included campaign principals, with Trump himself present.
But Misfud’s role soon moved into even darker territory:
Read the rest at The Observer …