A new twist in the investigation of the origins of the Russia probe came Monday from one of retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s attorneys when she disclosed in a court motion the existence of two Blackberry phones used by Joseph Mifsud that were tied to Western intelligence.
On Thursday, that same attorney, Sidney Powell, confirmed to the Washington Times, that the Blackberrys lie in the hands of U.S. Attorney John Durham — AG Barr’s pick to investigate the Russia probe origins.
Powell seems to be seeking the Blackberrys as exculpatory evidence in Flynn’s case, showing that the government withheld such evidence early on in violation of a judge’s demand.
Ms. Powell has added to the Mifsud intrigue with her motion before District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan asking him to order the government to turn over the BlackBerrys’ data. The filing lists the two phones’ model number, PIN and SIM card information.
She told the judge that on Oct. 11 she asked the prosecution for phone data. She was ignored until she sent notification days later that she planned to file the discovery motion.
The motion says: “Michael T. Flynn requests the government be ordered to produce evidence that has only recently come into its possession……… This information is material, exculpatory, and relevant to the defense of Mr. Flynn, and specifically to the “OCONUS LURES” and agents that western intelligence tasked against him likely as early as 2014 to arrange—unbeknownst to him—‘connections’ with certain Russians that they would then use against him in their false claims. The phones were used by Mr. Joseph Mifsud.”
“OCONUS LURES” is an FBI acronym for an operation to lure a person back to the U.S.
Mifsud, a Maltese professor who reportedly told Trump advisor George Papadopoulos that the Russians were in possession of Hillary Clinton’s emails, was thought to have possibly been visited by Durham and Barr recently in Rome, Italy, where he was a professor. The FBI has accused Mifsud of being a Russian asset. Papadopoulos, however, contends the professor was a Western asset whose goal was to trap him with information about Clinton’s emails, which ultimately reached the FBI and is the ostensible reason for the opening of the Russian collusion investigation.
Reacting to the BlackBerry disclosure, Mr. Papadopoulos tweeted: “I lived this spy story. The government’s of the UK, Australia, Italy sent their agents: Mifsud, Downer, Halper, Azra Turk and many more. With the new info on Mifsud’s phones with the DOJ, my story was the one that exposed the greatest spying scandal in history. Downer is next!”
Alexander Downer was the Australian ambassador in London to whom Mr. Papadopoulos relayed the Mifsud gossip. Mr. Downer denies he was a spy. Stephan Halper and Azar Turk were FBI/western intelligence spies assigned to Mr. Papadopoulos in London.
The request for the data contained on the Blackberrys is a possible link between the investigation into the origins of the Russia probe and the Flynn appeal. Flynn, who was the Obama administration’s head of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency until forced to retire over differences related to fighting Islamic extremists, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI regarding conversations with the Russian ambassador when he served as Trump’s national security advisor early in 2017.