Two Months After Papadopoulos Plea Revealed, Mifsud’s Past Still Being Scrubbed

It was back on October 30 of 2017 that George Papadopoulos’ plea deal arising from Robert Mueller’s investigation was unsealed. The plea agreement indicated a central role for Joseph Mifsud. Mifsud apparently was the first to inform Papadopoulos that Russia had dirt, in the form of emails, on Hillary Clinton and then participated in ongoing efforts by Papadapoulos to arrange senior-level meetings between Russia and the Trump campaign.

I noted on November 2 that although the earliest reports described Mifsud as associated with the now-closed London Academy of Diplomacy, he had an additional affiliation that mapped to the same organization, the London Centre of International Law Practice, claimed by Papadopoulos at the time he joined the Trump campaign. Just under a week later, reports began to surface that Mifsud had disappeared. As recently as December 20, NPR reported that he still could not be found.

Yesterday, BuzzFeed News reported that Mifsud’s biography had been deleted from the website of Link Campus in Rome:

References to Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor who court documents say told Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, have been removed from the website of the university in Italy where he’s worked for years.

When he was unmasked as the unnamed “overseas professor” cited in the documents filed in October by Trump–Russia special counsel Robert Mueller, Mifsud led a three-year degree course in political science and international relations, according to a bio then on the website of the Link Campus University in Rome. The Maltese academic was also listed as an overseas professor on the LCU’s faculty pages, archived versions of the website show.

The bio now leads to a 404 error page, while Mifsud’s name no longer appears on the LCU’s faculty pages.

Interestingly, this report from November 6 indicates that Link Campus is “a private university established as a
subsidiary of the University of Malta.” That seems quite significant since Mifsud is from Malta.

The BuzzFeed piece concludes with this paragraph:

Also now missing from the LCU faculty pages is Nagi Idris, director of the London Centre of International Law Practice, an organization with which both Mifsud and Papadopoulos claimed to have been affiliated in the past. Idris was previously listed as an overseas professor on the faculty pages, according to archived versions of the website. And in an online bio he describes himself as a visiting professor at the university.

So Link is now removing any online association with both Mifsud and Idris, who are both connected to the London Centre of International Law Practice. It appears to me that Nagi Idris may be more than just another bit player who claimed association with these two quasi-academic operations. The Medium piece referenced above that pointed out the Maltese connection for Link Campus provided a deep dive into corporate records associated with the London Centre of International Law Practice:

LCILP began as an offshoot from another company — EN Education Group Limited — which describes itself as “a global education consultancy, facilitating links between students, education providers and organisations with an interest in education worldwide”.

/snip/

EN Education is owned and run by Nagi Khalid Idris, a 48-year-old British citizen of Sudanese origin. A biographical note about Idris describes him as “a senior international lawyer and Fellow of the International Bar Association, with over 19 years of legal consultancy experience”.

Because he is the owner of the company that gave rise to the London Centre for International Law Practice, Idris could well lie at the heart of the biggest mystery we have yet to unravel: how and why Mifsud and Papadopoulos were put into their various roles and then brought into contact with one another. With Mifsud references now scrubbed from the LCILP website and Idris  (as well as Mifsud) scrubbed from the Link Campus website, Idris does not seem to want that information to come to light.  Idris appears to be just as unqualified for his role in founding LCILP as both Papadopoulos and Mifsud are for the positions they held there and elsewhere. With Idris, though, we are likely starting to get very close to those who are pulling the strings.

As Marcy noted here, the timeline of contacts between Papadopoulos and Mifsud are damning in their concentration on arranging meetings between the Trump and Putin camps. So, to me, when we find out who helped Idris to set up the London Centre for International Law Practice as a vehicle for bringing together Papadopoulos and Mifsud, we are likely to find out who wanted the Trump Campaign to have high level contacts in Russia. Whoever that is seems to be putting a lot of continuing effort into obscuring the puppetmaster while hiding a puppet or two. After all, it’s not like we’ve ever seen spies hanging around quasi-academic programs in international relations or anything.

Many years ago, Jim got a BA in Radiation Biophysics from the University of Kansas. He then got a PhD in Molecular Biology from UCLA and did postdoctoral research in yeast genetics at UC Berkeley and mouse retroviruses at Stanford. He joined biosys in Palo Alto, producing insect parasitic nematodes for pest control. In the early 1990’s, he moved to Gainesville, FL and founded a company that eventually became Entomos. He left the firm as it reorganized into Pasteuria Biosciences and chose not to found a new firm due a clash of values with venture capital investors, who generally lack all values. Upon leaving, he chose to be a stay at home dad, gentleman farmer, cook and horse wrangler. He discovered the online world through commenting at Glenn Greenwald’s blog in the Salon days and was involved in the briefly successful Chris Dodd move to block the bill to renew FISA. He then went on to blog at Firedoglake and served a brief stint as evening editor there. When the Emptywheel blog moved out of Firedoglake back to standalone status, Jim tagged along and blogged on anthrax, viruses, John Galt, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is now a mostly lapsed blogger looking for a work-around to the depressing realization that pointing out the details of government malfeasance and elite immunity has approximately zero effect.

18 replies
  1. pseudonymous in nc says:

    Idris has also been wiped from the LCILP website: per the Wayback Machine, any reference to directors / individuals was removed over the past couple of months. (That is, around the time that Medium piece was published.) That includes any reference to Peter Dovey as well, though his (very basic) law firm website is still around, listing the same 8 Lincolns Inn Fields address as LCILP: http://pdcosol.com/

    Dovey appears to be a jobbing solicitor with a career including police station duty, immigration tribunals, and commenting on council attitudes towards fly-posting.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Lincoln’s Inn Fields are expensive digs for a jobbing solicitor, unless it’s an address of convenience with facilities available by the hour only when needed.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I see that 31 companies list “8 Lincoln’s Inn Fields” as their address, including such well-known enterprises as “Urban Airship Uk Limited” and “Bottlemate Uk Limited”.  So address of convenience it is, presumably via a solicitor’s office.

          • Desider says:

            Maybe it’s Keith Urban & Marty Balin doing a countrified easy listening version of “Somebody to Love”?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Without earning or paying for it.  I used to frequent the area.  The Ship Tavern is just north up the alleyway a few yards west of this address.  Near Holborn.  The commute from in or outside London would be more than a pound or two, especially after this year’s increases go into effect.

          This sort of address tends to be all show and no go.  Typical for the Papa story, except for why he was so special to Trump and the Russians and what he learned as a go-between.

          • pseudonymous in nc says:

            Yeah, I used to work nearby and would bunk off to visit Sir John Soane’s house. Lots of legal types (lower- and higher-ups) and LSE eating their to-go lunches outside in the summer. (The Australian High Commission’s nearby too.) Last time I passed through there I bought an ice cream from a van.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              There’s ice cream with filler, Wall’s, and then there’s Cornish ice cream, made with cream.  Not hard to choose between them, unless you add clotted cream to the menu, and that requires scones.

              • pseudonymous in nc says:

                It was a Mr Whippy 99. There are times when you want ice cream, and times when you want to stride from Fetter Lane to Soho on a pleasant summer’s day as a grown-up with a 99.

                (8 Lincoln’s Inn Fields is just a few doors down from the Soane house.)

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Or ever seen spies promoting their govt’s views in, oh, say, the Paris Review or scores of other international publications.  If it’s been done, the CIA has done it: it’s like a mighty wurlitzer playing Yankee Doodle Dandy to the silent film of CIA conduct spanning the globe.

    But Trump was doing this on his own, through seemingly bit players, pursuing an overtly irrational closeness with Russia’s current tsar – a goal uninterrupted by his transition from private citizen to president.  Enquiring minds want to know why.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Digby has a nice summation of Papadopoulos’s importance to the Trump team and its wannabe Russian friends:

    The coffee boy must have made an amazing espresso; he traveled in some important circles.

    Having a long evening with the Australian ambassador to the UK, just as an example, is not the sort of thing one gets in exchange for a few cans of Foster’s (local or export).  It requires being a bit more interesting.

  4. pseudonymous in nc says:

    Natasha Bertrand talked to Papadopoulos’s fiancée about her couple of months at the London Front For Something Or Other:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/papadopoulos-fiancee-simona-mangiante-2018-1

    “I knew something was wrong from the first day I arrived there,” Mangiante said. “It all felt very artificial. I had worked in real diplomatic environments and this didn’t feel that way at all. I never even had clarity about who [Mifsud] actually was.”

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