DNC says Papadopoulos tipster and key figure in Russia case might be dead
Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious Maltese professor believed to have played a key role in igniting the Russia probe, vanished from public eye after his name began surfacing in news stories.
Now, lawyers for the Democratic National Committee say it is possible Mifsud is dead.
In a filing in the U.S. Southern District of New York, the DNC said Mifsud “is missing and may be deceased.” The lawyers said they will “monitor news sources” for any indication of Mifsud’s whereabouts and “will attempt service on Mifsud if and when he is found alive.”
“The DNC's counsel has attempted to serve Mifsud for months and has been unable to locate or contact him,” DNC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson told Fox News. “In addition, public reports have said he has disappeared and hasn't been seen for months."
While Mifsud is far from a household name, investigators say he was the one who told then-Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos in April 2016 that the Russians had “dirt” that could damage Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Over drinks in London, Papadopoulos then told Australian diplomat Alexander Downer about his conversations with Mifsud. As the story goes, Downer informed U.S. officials, leading the FBI to open its Russia investigation during the 2016 election.
A February memo released by the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee said the intelligence passed on by the Australians about the diplomat’s meeting with Papadopoulos “triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok.”