As Robert Mueller took questions Wednesday from Congress about the Special Counsel's investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH, a fierce critic of the investigation, asked about Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor with ties to the investigation, who has frequently been referenced in right-leaning media reports.

Jordan, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, inquired as to why the FBI did not charge Mifsud with making false statements to federal authorities when others were charged with lying. The Mueller Report noted that Mifsud lied to investigators. 

"I can't get into internal deliberations with regard to who would or would not be charged," Mueller replied. 

Jordan described Mifsud as "the guy who starts it all" and continued to question Mueller about whether he had interviewed Mifsud. Mueller would not delve into any details. 

Mifsud reportedly has ties to high-level Kremlin officials. In April 2016, he reportedly told Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopolous, who served 12 days in prison for making false statements to the FBI, that the Russians had thousands of emails that had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.

Some Trump allies and Republicans believe that Mifsud is an FBI plant who wanted to disrupt the Trump campaign. By discrediting Mifsud, Jordan seemed to be suggesting that the entire special counsel investigation was a sham.

Conservative commentators, such as Fox News host Sean Hannity, have asserted that individuals with political ties to former President Barack Obama or 2016 Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton in federal agencies such as the FBI have tried to undermine Trump's campaign and presidency. Conservative pundits refer to this as the "deep state." Right-leaning publications like the Washington Examiner have frequently reported on Mifsud.

Mueller has previously said that he would not answer questions about the origin of the investigation and repeated the claim in the hearing. 

MSNBC host Joy Reid posted on Twitter that the Mifsud-Papadopoulos meeting wasn't the only event causing the Russia investigation.

"What Jim Jordan just did in his typically screaming, hysterical fashion was patently dishonest," Reid said. "Read the Mueller report. Nowhere in does it say that Mifsud's approach to Papadopoulos is the singular event that started the FBI investigation of Russia's attack to help Trump."

During the House Intelligence Committee hearings with Mueller, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., also referenced Mifsud. Nunes noted that former FBI Director James Comey called Mifsud a "Russian agent" and that Mueller's report does not.

A report in October from the Associated Press described Mifsud as having a "bizarre academic career punctuated by scandals and disappearing acts." Some have rumored that Mifsud has died, but his Swiss-German lawyer, Stephan Roh, told the AP that Mifsud is still alive. 

Mifsud faced scandals in the early 2000s while working at the University of Malta, where he was accused of "financial mismanagement." He then disappeared in 2007 and began to work at the Euro-Mediterranean University in Slovenia. He reportedly left the university with close to the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars in debt, before vanishing once again. 

Mifsud then began working at the London Academy of Diplomacy in 2013. It was is in London that Mifsud met Trump's advisor Papadopolous to discuss the Russia emails.

Mifsud told the Washington Post in August 2017 that he had “absolutely no contact” with the Kremlin.

“I am an academic, I do not even speak Russian,” he wrote.