Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor who played a central role in the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia, disappeared more than a year ago, in November 2017, after reporters identified him as the unnamed individual referred to only as “the professor” in special counsel Mueller’s indictment of George Papadopoulous. But now, according to reports, he may testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
A quick refresher: During the 2016 campaign, Mifsud allegedly spent months trying to connect Papadopoulous with Russian officials, and offered to provide the Trump campaign with “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulous then drunkenly bragged about this “dirt” to an Australian diplomat, who shared the information with U.S. authorities, leading to the beginning of an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign.
Once he was identified, Mifsud did an interview with an Italian news outlet in Rome on Oct. 31, 2017, then disappeared. His phone number went dead, a university where he taught deleted his biography, and neither reporters nor Italian authorities nor his 31-year-old fiancé could find him. In a court filing related to its lawsuit against the Trump campaign, Russia, and a slew of other co-defendents, lawyers for the Democratic National Committee speculated that Mifsud, one of the co-defendents, might be “deceased.”
Apparently not. Reporters for Buzzfeed and The Atlantic write today that a lawyer who says he is representing Mifsud is negotiating for the professor to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Mifsud’s purported attorney, Stephan Roh, wouldn’t give further details, according to Buzzfeed:
Asked if a date for the testimony had been set, whether Mifsud would be travelling to the US in person to testify, and if any talks with Senate officials to schedule a testimony had already taken place, Roh replied, “we will not comment or answer further questions of journalists until the Senate hearing takes place — unless necessary and in the interest of Prof. Mifsud.”
But it seems like the professor is, at the very least, alive, and looking to tell his side of the story. Roh claimed to have spoken to his client from Italy and Malta over the last year, and, last month, provided the Associated Press with a photo of Mifsud taken in Roh’s Zurich office in May.
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