ROME – When Attorney General William Barr showed up at the Palazzo Margherita of the US Embassy in Rome's Via Veneto last week, he had two main requests. He needed a conference room to meet high-ranking Italian security forces, where he could be sure no one was listening. And he needed an extra chair for US lawyer John Durham of Connecticut, who would sit to his right.
Barr was in Rome on a sub-radar mission scheduled just days in advance. An embassy official confirmed to The Daily Beast that they needed to hurry to accommodate Barr's sudden arrival. He had been to Italy before, but not with such a clear motive. Barr and Durham are investigating the events that led to Robert Muller's Russia investigation and suddenly all roads led to Rome.
The Daily Beast has learned that Barr and Durham were particularly interested in what the Italian secret service knew about Joseph Mifsud, the former professor from Malta, who accused former candidate Donald Trump's campaigner George Papadopoulos of being "Russian". Dirt "deliver. on Hillary Clinton. The Italian Ministry of Justice's public records indicate that Mifsud, having left Link University where he worked, had applied for police protection in Italy, leaving a glued statement to explain why people might harm him wanted to inflict.
A source in the Italian Ministry of Justice reported that Barr and Durham had played the tape on condition of anonymity to The Daily Beast. A second source within the Italian government also confirmed The Daily Beast that Barr and Durham had other evidence that the Italians had on Mifsud.
Since Robert Mueller completed his investigation in March 201
The US Department of Justice has not returned many e-mails and calls for clarification from Barr, Durham, and Mifsud. But they made a statement on Monday confirming that the American legal team was in the Eternal City.
"As the Department of Justice has previously announced, a team led by US Attorney John Durham is investigating the origins of the US counterintelligence probe for Trump's 2016 presidential campaign," said Kerri Kupec, spokeswoman for the Department of Justice in a statement. "Mr. Durham gathers information from numerous sources, including various countries, and at the request of Attorney General Barr, the President has contacted other countries to ask them to present the Attorney General and Mr. Durham to the relevant officials."
Die Italian intelligence community had Mifsud on the radar for some years before he joined the mission The problems of the trump campaign, his links to the University of Rome link and the London Center of International Law Practice – both often associated with Western diplomats and foreign intelligence services – made The same was true of the apartments he owned in Malta, allegedly tied to a thug where Russians bought cheap Maltese passports.
What Mifsud knew or did not know about Clinton's e-mails is still cloudy, what Barr and Durham have experienced is still few Papadopoulos has distanced himself from the professor who just this week tweeted that he "uncovered Mifsud's ties to Italian intelligence," although the Italians watched him for a long time before parting company.
Mifsud met Papadopoulos through his Italian wife Simona Mangiante, a lawyer and part-time lingerie model, had hoped to start her acting career with the French femme fatale Brigitte Bardot in an American movie. Mangiante told The Daily Beast last year that she met the professor who provided legal advice for one of his classes. His ties to Russia may have been useful to her husband, who was then an integral part of Trump's foreign policy advisory board.
Before he disappeared, Mifsud said he had met Papadopoulos "three or four times" to make connections between "official and unofficial sources" in Italy, Russia and the Ukraine. He denied any wrongdoing, but hid in 2017 – either alone or through the Italian protection service – and has since been seen only on occasional photos.
Several major Italian newspapers reported Tuesday that Mifsud is working with Barr and Durham's investigations, and some even suggested he met them in person last week in Rome. The Daily Beast telephoned Stephan Roh, Mifsud's Swiss lawyer, on Tuesday saying he had "seen his client" for some time, but "doubted" he would show his face in Rome.
The sources in Rome, who confirmed that Barr and Durham had come to learn more about Mifsud, also told The Daily Beast that they expected Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo to meet the same intelligence agencies on his state visit started on Tuesday.
Pompeo meets in Rome the Italian President, the Prime Minister and the Pope. His official mandate is to discuss trade with Libya, China and sanctions against Russia, which Italy does not support. Pompeo will also spend time with the US Ambassador to the Vatican Callista Gingrich and her husband Newt. The Minister of Foreign Affairs gives a keynote speech at one of the Vatican Religious Liberty's events and plans to spend some private time visiting the ancient Roman Coliseum. He will briefly visit the Umbrian hamlet of Valle Peligna, where his grandfather comes from and where, by chance, Madonna's Italian family also has roots. He then travels to Montenegro, North Macedonia and Greece before returning to Washington.