Joseph Mifsud
© BBC.com
Joseph Mifsud
When reports first surfaced that AG Bill Barr had traveled to Italy recently, we surmised the trip was likely related to Joseph Mifsud; specifically related to an audio-taped deposition that Mifsud gave to Italian police about being a western intelligence asset who was enlisted by the CIA (Brennan) to run a covert intelligence operation against the Donald Trump campaign in 2016.

If accurate, well, there's the motive for the latest "CIA whistle-blower" approach.

The Daily Beast is now reporting that Bill Barr's visit to Italy was exactly for that reason:
ROME-When Attorney General William Barr showed up at the U.S. embassy's Palazzo Margherita on Rome's tony Via Veneto last week, he had two primary requests. He needed a conference room to meet high level Italian security agents where he could be sure no one was listening in. And he needed an extra chair for U.S. Attorney John Durham of Connecticut who would be sitting at his right hand side.

[...] The Daily Beast has learned that Barr and Durham were especially interested in what the Italian secret service knew about Joseph Mifsud, the erstwhile professor from Malta who had allegedly promised then candidate Donald Trump's campaign aide George Papadopoulos he could deliver Russian "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.

The Italian Justice Ministry public records show that Mifsud had applied for police protection in Italy after disappearing from Link University where he worked and, in doing so, had given a taped deposition to explain just why people might want to harm him.

A source in the Italian Ministry of Justice, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Daily Beast that Barr and Durham were played the tape.

A second source within the Italian government also confirmed to The Daily Beast that Barr and Durham were shown other evidence the Italians had on Mifsud. (read more)
It is unknown whether Barr and Durham actually interviewed Mr. Mifsud in person. Some say yes, some say no.

The Maltese Fulcrum?

Additionally, in September 2016 the FBI used a longtime informant, Stefan Halper, to make contact with George Papadopoulos, pay him $3k and fly him to London for consulting work and a policy paper on Mediterranean energy issues.

As part of the spy operation the FBI sent a female intelligence operative (a spy) under the alias "Azra Turk" to pose as Halper's assistant and engage Papdopoulos. A month later the FBI used Papadopoulos as a supplemental basis for a FISA warrant against Carter Page.

Former Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Trey Gowdy, told Maria Bartiromo he had seen transcripts of the Halper/Turk operation, and those transcripts exonerate Papadopoulos :

Interview May 19, 2019
Bartiromo: I'm really glad you brought that up; the FBI agents' discussion with George Papadopoulos. Because when the FBI sends in informants to someone they're looking at, typically those conversations are recorded right? Those people are wired?

Gowdy: Yeah, I mean if the bureau is going to send an informant in, the informant is going to be wired; and if the bureau is monitoring telephone calls there's going to be a transcript of that.

And some of us have been fortunate enough to know whether or not those transcripts exist; but they haven't been made public and I think one in-particular is going - it has the potential to actually persuade people. Very little in this Russia probe I'm afraid is going to persuade people who hate Trump, or who love Trump, but there is some information in these transcripts that I think has the potential to be a game-changer if it's ever made public.

Bartiromo: You say that's exculpatory evidence and when people see that they're going to say: wait, why wasn't this presented to the court earlier?

Gowdy: Yeah, you know, Johnny Ratcliffe is rightfully exercised over the obligations that the government has to tell the whole truth to the court when you are seeking permission to spy, or do surveillance, on an American. And part of that includes the responsibility of providing exculpatory information, or information that tends to show the person did not do something wrong. If you have exculpatory information, and you don't share it with the court, that ain't good. I've seen it, Johnny's seen it, I'd love for your viewers to see it.

[End Transcript]