This is just ridiculous.
Courtesy of NYT:
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy said his country’s intelligence services had informed the American attorney general, William P. Barr, that they played no role in the events leading to the Russia investigation, taking the air out of an unsubstantiated theory promoted by President Trump and his allies in recent weeks.
“Our intelligence is completely unrelated to the so-called Russiagate and that has been made clear,” Mr. Conte said in a news conference in Rome on Wednesday evening after spending hours describing Italy’s discussions with Mr. Barr to the parliamentary committee on intelligence.
Mr. Conte publicly acknowledged for the first time that Mr. Barr had twice met with the leaders of Italy’s intelligence agencies after asking them to clarify their role in a 2016 meeting between a Maltese professor and a Trump campaign adviser on a small college campus in Rome, Link Campus University.
During a subsequent meeting, the professor, Joseph Mifsud, told the adviser, George Papadopolous, that Russia had obtained damaging information about Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails,” according to the special counsel’s report into Russian meddling in the 2016 American election. Mr. Papadopolous later shared that information with foreign diplomats, which eventually set off alarms among American intelligence officials about Russian interference.
Mr. Trump and his associates have asserted, without evidence, that Mr. Mifsud is not a professor with links to Russia, as the special counsel’s report states, but a Western intelligence asset working as part of an Obama administration plot to spy on the Trump campaign. That theory, once relegated to the far-right margins, has become a frequent talking point of Mr. Trump’s as he seeks to undermine the special counsel’s report.
See, this is not just about Ukraine.
The Trump folks are looking all over the world for evidence that the Russian investigation which culminated with the Mueller report was based on false evidence somehow produced and promoted by the Obama Administration.
They may hope to uncover evidence that vindicates Trump, but the main purpose actually seems to be undermining the reason for the sanctions against Russia, and providing Trump with an escuse to remove them.
Once again all of this is in service to Vladimir Putin.