This in depth story about the ‘Mystery Professor’ Joseph Mifsud in yesterday’s The Washington Post makes fascinating reading.
In the absence of the man, the two sides of the question on the extent of Russian meddling in US elections grasp at hints in the vague trails left in Joseph Mifsud’s past to prove their side is right.
But as the documented story shows that the narrative presented by Donald Trump’s sympathisers and supporters that Joseph Mifsud was a western intelligence plant intended to frame Trump by planting evidence of Russian meddling is just not credible.
The alternative is what former FBI Director James Comey bluntly says about Joseph Mifsud: “he was a Russian agent”.
The enormously significant investigation into Russian meddling started because Joseph Mifsud sat in a restaurant in Rome with a young careerist who had just been recruited by the Donald Trump campaign as unpaid advisor on international affairs.
In that conversation Joseph Mifsud promised “dirt”: information that the Russian security agencies and the Russian State was alleged to have about Donald Trump’s election rival that could help him win the election.
The FBI spoke to Joseph Mifsud once when he flew into the United States to speak at a conference. But they didn’t have enough to hold on to him. He flew out after that beyond their reach and, though of course we cannot be certain, it does not look like they managed to speak to him again.
Of course there’s something of significance for little old Malta in all this. The investigations into Joseph Mifsud’s past show that he had been cultivating his contacts in Russia for a long time and Russian contacts appear to have been cultivating him as some sort of asset from 2010 onwards.
In 2013 we saw Joseph Mifsud in Malta after a lull in his public appearances as a former adviser to Michael Frendo when the latter was a Foreign Minister and Joseph Mifsud was his chief of staff.
It was the eve of the general election and there he was sitting shoulder to shoulder with the soon to be prime minister Joseph Muscat.
We’d have an election here that appears to have used the methods of Cambridge Analytica and apparently limitless financial resources the like of which Malta had never yet seen.
It would seem that there’s more than one mystery that Joseph Mifsud holds the key to solving.