Key Witness In Russia Investigation Has Vanished, May Be Dead: Report
A key witness in the special counsel investigation into the Russia election interference may be dead, Bloomberg News reported Friday night.
London-based professor Joseph Mifsud, who told former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, “is missing and may be deceased,” Bloomber reported, citing court documents filed by DNC lawyers on Friday.
The lawyers indicated that an investigator had been used to find Mifsud, who has been missing for months, and was told the Maltese professor may be dead.
“The DNC’s counsel has attempted to serve Mifsud for months and has been unable to locate or contact him. In addition, public reports have said he has disappeared and hasn’t been seen for months,” DNC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said.
Mifsud was reportedly teaching at a private university in Rome before he vanished late last year, shortly after his name emerged as a key figure in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Bloomberg reports.
The DNC’s revelation came in court filings Friday in their lawsuit against Russia, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. According to Bloomberg, the DNC said it believed all of the defendants in the case had been served, with the exception of Mifsud.
Mifsud is the second figure linked to investigations surrounding Trump who has disappeared.
Last year, investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated in her native Malta after exposing a massive web of corruption through the “Panama Papers,” including a revelation that Ivanka Trump helped her father’s Panama hotel venture with the help of an alleged international fraudster with ties to Russian money launderers.
Mifsud was reportedly known to have high-level contacts in the Russian government, including with Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s current foreign minister. During the campaign, Papadopoulos told President Trump and now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions that Russia was interested in setting up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump has long downplayed Papadopoulos’s role within his campaign in public statements and denied any collusion with Russia during the election.