There are still many unanswered questions, but the evidence that now is part of the public record removes any doubt that British and US Intelligence services collaborated in a devious and fabricated scheme to portray the Trump campaign as intent on collaborating with Russia. The evidence was planted and cleverly fabricated. It was done through highly classified intelligence channels, which created a paper trail and provided prima facie "evidence" that individuals with tenuous ties to the Trump campaign where seeking meetings with Russian officials. What was not reported, however, was the fact that the original impetus for those reporting on those communications originated with an individual who appears to be an MI-6 intelligence asset. His name is Joseph Mifsud and I believe that evidence ultimately will establish that he was directed to contact and then feed incriminating information to George Papadopoulos. That information became the foundation of creating a counter intelligence investigation of Donald Trump and his campaign.
First a word about Joseph Mifsud. He is currently missing. But the public record on him strongly suggests that he was working as an intelligence asset of the United Kingdom's MI-6. Elizabeth Vos at Disobedient Media provides an excellent review of Mifsud and his links to British intel (her article appears to have been taken down, but it is solid and I saved a copy):
Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese scholar with an eclectic academic history who Quartz described as an “enigma,” while legacy press has enthusiastically characterized him as a central personality in the Trump-Russia scandal. The New York Times described Mifsud as an “enthusiastic promoter of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia”, citing his regular involvement in the annual meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club, a Russian-based think-tank, as well as three short articles he wrote in support of Russian policies.
Mifsud strongly denied claims that he was associated with Russian intelligence, telling Italian newspaper Repubblica that he was a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and the Clinton Foundation, adding that his political outlook was “left-leaning.” Last month, Slate reported Mifsud had ‘disappeared’, as did some of the other figures linking the UK to the Trump-Russia scandal.
Mifsud’s alleged links to Russian intelligence are summarily debunked by his close working relationship with Claire Smith, a major figure in the upper echelons of British intelligence. A number of Twitter users recently observed that Joseph Mifsud had been photographed standing next to Claire Smith of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee at Mifsud’s LINK campus in Rome. Newsmax and Buzzfeed later reported that the professor’s name and biography had been removed from the campus’ website, writing that the mysterious removal took place after Mifsud had served the institution for “years.”
The FBI got its foot in the door to investigate Trump for Russian ties because of "intelligence" about George Papadopoulos. But that intelligence was fabricated. Let me show you how this happened. Let's go to the Statement of Offense filed against Papadopoulos. It states that Papadopoulos made "material false statements and material omissions to the FBI:"
Papadopoulos claimed that his interactions with Joseph Mifsud occurred before Papadopoulos "became a foreign policy advisor to the Campaign."
Defendant PAPADOPOULOS further told the investigating agents that the professor was "a nothing" and "just a guy talk[ing] up connections or something." In truth and in fact, however, defendant PAPADOPOULOS understood that the professor had substantial connections to Russian government officials (and had met with some of those officials in Moscow immediately prior to telling defendant PAPADOPOULOS about the "thousands of emails") and, over a period of months, defendant PAPADOPOULOS repeatedly sought to use the professor's Russian connections in an effort to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and Russian government officials.
Defendant PAPADOPOULOS claimed he met a certain female Russian national before he joined the Campaign and that their communications consisted of emails such as,'"Hi, how are you?"'In truth and in fact, however, defendant PAPADOPOULOS met the female Russian national on or about March 24, 2016, after he had become an adviser to the Campaign; he believed that she had connections to Russian government officials; and he sought to use her Russian connections over a period of months in an effort to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and Russian government officials.
Pay close attention to the actual facts. Papadopoulos met with Mifsud in Italy on 14 March 2016. Although both shared an affiliation prior to that 14 March meeting with the London Centre of International Law Practice, they were not buddies nor in regular communication. According to the NY Times, Mifsud had little interest in Papadopoulos until the latter was named a Trump foreign policy advisor.
Traveling in Italy that March, Mr. Papadopoulos met Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor at a now-defunct London academy who had valuable contacts with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Mifsud showed little interest in Mr. Papadopoulos at first.
But when he found out he was a Trump campaign adviser, he latched onto him, according to court records and emails obtained by The New York Times. Their joint goal was to arrange a meeting between Mr. Trump and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Moscow, or between their respective aides.
Only one tiny problem–Mifsud met in Italy with Papadopoulos on the 14th of March but George was not announced publicly as an advisor until ONE WEEK later, on the 21st. So how did Joseph Mifsud know about Papadopoulos' new job? Why was Mifsud so eager to meet with Papadopoulos?
Once Papdopolous was announced, Mifsud kicked into overdrive trying to introduce George to Russians. On 24 March Mifsud hosted Papadopolous, who reported the meeting to Stephen Miller on the Trump campaign:
Papadopoulos: “just finished a very productive lunch with a good friend of mine, [Mifsud] . . . ‐ who introduced me to both Putin’s niece and the Russian Ambassador in London ‐ who also acts as the Deputy Foreign Minister.”
“The topic of the lunch was to arrange a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss U.S.-Russia ties under President Trump. They are keen to host us in a ‘neutral’ city, or directly in Moscow. They said the leadership, including Putin, is ready to meet with us and Mr. Trump should there be interest. Waiting for everyone’s thoughts on moving forward with this very important issue.”
Here is what you need to understand. When Papadopoulos communicated to persons in the Trump campaign the results of his meetings with Mifsud and Mifsud's Russian contacts, that information was relayed from the UK to America via telephone and email. Those conversations, without one doubt, were intercepted and put into a Top Secret intel reports (known in intel circles as SIGINT) by GCHQ.
It would be damning if Papadopoulos had initiated the contact with Russian sources and was lighting up the web with requests for info about Russians willing to work with or help Trump. But that did not happen. The impetus to talk about Russia originated with Mifsud, who, based on circumstantial evidence, was a British intelligence asset and was directed to target and bait Papadopoulos. It was Mifsud who raised the specter of the Russians targeting Hillary Clinton (see pp 6-7 of the Statement of Offense):
On or about April 26, 2016, defendant PAPADOPOULOS met the Professor for breakfast at a London hotel. During this meeting, the Professor told defendant PAPADOPOULOS that he had just returned from a trip to Moscow where he had met with highlevel Russian government officials. The Professor told defendant PAPADOPOULOS that on that trip he (the Professor) learned that the Russians had obtained "dirt" on then-candidate Clinton. The Professor told defendant PAPADOPOULOS, as defendant PAPADOPOULOS later described to the FBI, that "They [the Russians] have dirt on her; the Russians had emails of Clinton; "they have thousands of emails."
Mifsud provided the Russian information. Not Papadopoulos. Mifsud's mission of feeding Papadopoulos "Russian intelligence," which the later then reported back to the Trump campaign produced the casus belli (of sorts) to justify opening an FBI counter intelligence investigation. The FBI also was ensnared, most likely. It does not appear the FBI was briefed immediately on these matters. Instead, John Brennan and Jim Clapper built up a pretty sizable intel file, filled with SIGINT reports from the UK's GCHQ, which contained American names and reports of efforts to broker a meeting with Vladimir Putin. Of course they (Clapper and Brennan) conveniently failed to mention to the FBI that the information originated with a UK plant. But it did provide legal cover for unmasking the identities of Trump campaign personnel.
This was not the only "information dump" in place. MI-6 also helped ensure that there was an "independent" source of intelligence–human intelligence. Hence the Steele Dossier, with the first reports being produced in June 2016. It is this combination of SIGNALS INTELLIGENCE and HUMAN INTELLIGENCE, which persuaded the FBI that something serious was going on. While it may be possible that Comey and McCabe conspired initially with Brennan and Clapper, I do not think that is what happened. Comey and McCabe were duped by Brennan and Clapper into believing that there was actual malfeasance underway with the Trump campaign. They were naive, even stupid, but not engaged in sedition.
What I have outlined above is the circumstantial case for how the so-called intelligence was generated to create a feasible foundation for opening a counter intelligence investigation of President Trump and his campaign. But if Vegas allowed a bet on this scenario I would bet my house and feel confident of collecting a big payoff.