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Prior to his role as a liaison between Trump dossier author Christopher Steele and the FBI, Bruce Ohr held the fourth highest position at the Department of Justice. Once his involvement with Fusion GPS (where his wife worked) became known to top DOJ officials, he received two demotions because “DOJ ethics regulations forbid department officials from working on cases where a spouse has a financial interest.” Ohr admitted he had been aware of this rule at the time.
Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, was hired as an independent contractor by Glenn Simpson, the founder of political opposition research firm Fusion GPS. As you all know, the DNC and the Clinton campaign hired Fusion GPS (by funneling funds through Washington, D.C. law firm Perkins Coie) to create the infamous Trump dossier. Fusion hired former British spy Christopher Steele to create the dossier. Steele and Nellie Ohr worked on the project together.
It is well known that Bruce Ohr played a key role in passing Steele’s unverified research to top level FBI officials including Andrew McCabe starting in July 2016. In August, he passed on an even sketchier Trump dossier, which had been prepared by Glenn Simpson, to the FBI.
The Hill’s John Solomon has just reported the existence of a third Trump dossier which had been created by Nellie Ohr. Naturally, Bruce Ohr delivered this document to the FBI as well.
This new information was revealed during Bruce Ohr’s closed door hearing before Congress last August. Although transcripts from this hearing have not been made public, the relevant portion has been leaked. Below are the key excerpts from Ohr’s testimony.
She (Nellie Ohr) provided me with a memory stick that included research she had done for Fusion GPS on various Russian figures.
And the reason she provided that information to me is, my understanding was, it related to some of the same — it related to the FBI’s Russia investigation. And she gave me that stick to give to the FBI.
During his testimony, Ohr told Congressional investigators he had told only one person at the DOJ that he passed along his wife’s dossier to the FBI. That individual was Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Ohr said:
What I had said, I think, to Mr. Rosenstein in October of 2017 was that my wife was working for Fusion GPS…The dossier, as I understand it, is the collection of reports that Chris Steele has prepared for Fusion GPS.
My wife had separately done research on certain Russian people and companies or whatever that she had provided to Fusion GPS. But I don’t believe her information is reflected in the Chris Steele reports. They were two different chunks of information heading into Fusion GPS.
Basically she was concerned that maybe the FBI might want her information as well, and so (she) provided the information to me.
Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) asked him if he had been aware of the DOJ ethics rules “against becoming involved in cases where his family would have “a financial benefit.””
Ohr said “Yes. If I was working on the case I would probably have to get off the case…My wife can work for whoever she works for, but I can’t work on a case where she’s getting a financial benefit.”
Ratcliffe asked, “So in this case she was getting a financial benefit?”.
He answered yes.
Ohr “insisted his role in providing the FBI evidence from his wife’s fellow contractor (Steele), from her boss (Simpson) and from her as well did not constitute “working on the case.”
Summing up, Bruce Ohr delivered three dossiers containing damaging, unverified information about then-candidate Donald Trump to top officials at the FBI in the months leading up to the election.
In addition to these dossiers, another document containing more “dirt” was sent to the State Department by Clinton cronies Cody Shearer and Sidney Blumenthal. This was sent to the FBI as well. And finally, “a thumb drive was given by Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman to FBI general counsel James Baker.”
Just politics? Can you say conflict of interest?