- London-based Professor Joseph Mifsud identified in the Trump-Russia investigation.
- US Court Documents claim he acted as a conduit between Trump staff and Moscow.
- He reportedly mentioned “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in meetings with a Trump adviser.
- Mifsud has denied doing anything more than making basic introductions.
A professor and foreign policy expert based in London has been named as an alleged middleman between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government.
Joseph Mifsud, a member of staff at the University of Stirling’s London Academy of Diplomacy, reportedly connected Trump staffers with influencers in Russia.
He was referred to — though not by name — in an explosive court document published yesterday, which confirmed that former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos had admitted lying to the FBI during their Trump-Russia investigation.
The document said Papadopoulos told FBI agents about meetings with Mifsud, in which he was made aware of “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, then Trump’s rival for the US presidency.
He also referred to “thousands of emails” supposedly held by the Russians.
Mifsud has confirmed that he is the professor referred to in the document, according to Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, which reported that he told them in an interview.
However, he has denied that he offered Papadopoulos compromising information on Clinton, and says that the extent of his relationship with Papadopoulos was providing him with introductions to academics in Russia and Europe.
Business Insider has attempted to reach Mifsud by phone and email but has yet to receive a response.
The claims against Professor Mifsud
The unsealed court document says that Papadopoulos first met Mifsud in Italy in March 2016, shortly after he joined the Trump campaign’s foreign policy advisory team.
The document says Papadopoulos “acknowledged that the professor had told him about the Russians possessing ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of ‘thousands of emails'” during meetings in March and April last year.
It also said Papadopoulos “understood that the professor has substantial connections to Russian government officials” and that Mifsud had met with these officials immediately before mentioning the “thousands of emails.”
It went on to say that Papadopoulos “repeatedly sought to use the professor’s Russian connections in an effort to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and Russian government officials.”
This includes an alleged meeting with an unnamed Russian female whom Mifsud is accused of introducing to Papadopoulos as “a relative of Russian President Vladimir Putin.” She is later described as “Putin’s niece.” Mifsud is later said to have introduced Papadopoulos via email to an official at Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Telegraph said Mifsud told them the claims Papadopoulos made are “incredible,” that he is “upset” by them and that he has “a clear conscience.”
Two steps from Putin
Since the story broke, details of Mifsud’s academic posts have started to become difficult to find online.
A page on the website of the London Centre of International Law Practice listed Mifsud as the organisation’s director as recently as last Friday (and also described him as such on Twitter), but has since been deleted:
Business Insider has yet to receive a response to questions about why the page had been deleted.
Other profiles tout Mifsud as an expert on foreign affairs and Russia, and claim he has advised various governments on international issues.
He has been filmed speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club, a think tank based in the Russian city of Veliky Novgorod which is close to Vladimir Putin, and hosts him every year for a keynote address.
A statement from the University of Stirling confirmed that they currently employ Mifsud, and have since May this year, but did not touch on the allegations in the US court document.