Spygate: the scandal hidden by the Italian media

by Cesare Sacchetti

The plot of this story is so thick that it could be compared to a spy story penned by the hand of John le Carrè.

But this story is neither a book, nor a movie inspired by the famous author of spy romances. It is real and its name is Spygate.

For the readers who are not familiar with it, we need to proceed with vital details in order to avoid them getting lost in the many passages of this dizzy labyrinth. 

We have addressed this story before, but to better explain what’s Spygate, we must start with a central character of this romance, whose name is professor Joseph Mifsud.

The beginning of the spygate

Joseph Mifsud is an enigmatic Maltese, former professor of Link Campus, a university based in Rome. 

Professor Mifsud was the man who approached then former advisor of Trump campaign advisor, Mr. George Papadopoulos in 2016. 

Papadopoulos took part in a series of conferences held by Link Campus during that period. 

During one of these events, the former Trump campaign aide met Mifsud, who claimed to have the possibility to receive from sources close to Moscow some compromising emails about the then presidential democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. 

The young advisor took the bait of the Maltese academic and in the following months, he incautiously confided to John Downer, an Australian diplomat in London, that he could receive this material from these sources close to the Russians.

Mr. Downer, known to be a friend of the Clintons, promptly passed this information to the Australian intelligence services, which later was shared with their US counterparts.

This gave the FBI the possibility to start Hurricane Crossfire, the federal investigation which put under surveillance the Trump’s campaign.

Without Hurricane Crossfire, we wouldn’t have ever seen the birth of the Russiagate hoax?

We can confidently call it a hoax because the same conclusions of the Mueller’s investigation defined this story as a “nothing burger” against Trump.

We have seen then that the spygate story was originally conceived in Italy through the character of Joseph Mifsud, but this is not the only  person related to this scandal which took place in the Italian peninsula.

The role of the Occhionero siblings 

In order to understand another important element of this case, we need to introduce the role of the Occhionero’s siblings, Giulio and Francesca Maria.

Giulio Occhionero is an Italian nuclear engineer and a financial professional. 

In 2017, he was put under investigation, called the Eye Pyramid case, by the district attorney office of Rome along with his sister, with the accusation of illegal hacking into the emails of many public figures, such as Matteo Renzi and Mario Monti.

The Italian engineer claims to be the victim of an elaborated conspiracy and he presented his accusations before the district attorney office of Perugia.

The Perugia’s magistrates have judged his allegations credible because they have chosen to trial the district attorney who managed the Occhionero’s file, Mr. Albamonte, along with two officials of the cyber division of the Italian postal police, named CNAICP. 

According to the engineer’s version, the Italian secret services hacked the servers of his American firm, the Westlands Security LLC, and therefore committed a violation of the US cyberspace.

But why the Italian intelligence would have had an interest in hacking the Westlands servers? 

The idea of Mr. Occhionero, who is close to the Republican milieu, is that the Italians were part of a plot orchestrated by the Obama’s administration to delegitimize Donald Trump.

Basically, those servers were needed in order to put some compromising Clinton emails on them, and then associate the Westlands security to Donald Trump.

In this way, Trump would have been depicted as a Russian asset and possibly impeached for this with the bogus accusation of being a foreign agent manipulated by Moscow.

Mr. Occhionero has shown some relevant facts which could confirm his allegations. 

For instance, the document provided by the DOJ to him which reports the mission of two Italian postal police representatives who travelled in May 2017 to the US in order to seize two computer servers and other data related to the Eye Pyramid’s investigation. 

Did Renzi and Gentiloni know about the spygate?

We must keep in mind that the spygate case has been developing from 2016 to 2017.  It is important to note that during those years, Italy has had two prime ministers: Matteo Renzi and Paolo Gentiloni.

In his letter to the US Congress and the FBI, the Italian engineer points out how the digital techniques used to hack his US servers by the Italian postal police required the collaboration of an ISP, which had to receive a governmental authorization to comply to this request.

Is it possible to think that the two former Italian prime ministers didn’t know what their secret services were doing?

In this matter, it’s certainly interesting to follow the timeline of the meetings between Renzi and Obama, which coincidentally match the one of the spygate case.

Renzi met Obama in October 2016 at the White House and later in May 2017, when Obama came to Milan and neither him nor Renzi have any official assignment. 

George Papadopoulos, interviewed by the Italian newspaper “La Verità” has no doubt about what had happened. Renzi knew about the involvement of the Italian secret services and gave green light to the operation in order to execute Obama’s orders. 

Therefore, Italy seems to be the cradle of this plot orchestrated against Trump and this would also explain why the US attorney general, William Barr, and the US Attorney John Durham of Connecticut went to Rome the last summer of 2019.

During their mission in Italy, Barr and Durham listened to a tape in which Joseph Mifsud explained why he asked  for Italian police protection and who might attempt to hurt him. 

In the meantime, the US Senate has decided to summon Kieran Ramsay, the FBI chief in Rome, who will be questioned regarding his role in this matter.

According to Mr. Occhionero, Ramsay had refused to examine his criminal filings against US cyber space made by the CNPAIC, the cyber division of the Italian postal police. 

The Italian media have shrouded a veil of secrecy about this scandal and haven’t raised questions so far about the possible involvement of Renzi and Gentiloni in this case.

The same Italian media have covered extensively the Russiagate hoax, but they don’t seem interested in shedding any light on this case.

A horrible truth could be hidden behind the spygate, but there’s another conspiracy which is preventing the truth to emerge.

It’s the conspiracy of silence of the Italian media.