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One of the most curious parts of the entire Trump dossier story is the way that Glenn Simpson’s smut-slinging company, Fusion GPS, had nearly unlimited entree into the Obama administration. While the guts of the disinformation effort directed against the Trump campaign were the memos produced by former British spy Christopher Steele, memos that become more suspect by the day, Fusion GPS was able to push the dossier directly into the hands of the Department of Justice and the FBI.
One of the key figures in this is demoted Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr. Until early December, Ohr was associate deputy attorney general and worked for Sally Yates, the #Resistance heroine who refused to do her legal duty and was fired. In December, Ohr was demoted and it was revealed that he had met with Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson after Trump’s election. The next week it was reported that his wife, Nellie Ohr, had been a Fusion GPS employee/contractor and had worked on the Trump dossier project.
Now there is an additional twist. Ohr hid his wife’s employer on his required financial disclosure forms.
Bruce Ohr, the Department of Justice official who brought opposition research on President Donald Trump to the FBI, did not disclose that Fusion GPS, which performed that research at the Democratic National Committee’s behest, was paying his wife, and did not obtain a conflict of interest waiver from his superiors at the Justice Department, documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation show.
The omission may explain why Ohr was demoted from his post as associate deputy attorney general after the relationship between Fusion GPS and his wife emerged and Fusion founder Glenn Simpson acknowledged meeting with Ohr. Willfully falsifying government ethics forms can carry a penalty of jail time, if convicted.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) hired Fusion GPS to gather and disseminate damning info about Trump, and they in turn paid Nellie Ohr, a former CIA employee with expertise in Russia, for an unknown role related to the “dossier.” Bruce Ohr then brought the information to the FBI, kicking off a probe and a media firestorm.
There is significant evidence that Ohr deliberately obscured his wife’s source of income. These are the directions for completing the form:
This is Ohr’s form:
It is deficient in several ways. It doesn’t list the companies for which Nellie Ohr worked as a consultant. By not listing the companies it also does not list their line of business. This alone renders Ohr’s disclosure worthless because it is no longer possible to see if he has a conflict of interest on an issue. And it fails to disclose her income.
Then one has to ask how this form made it by Ohr’s direct supervisor, Sally Yates? And how it made it by DOJ’s Ethics office? And past the Office of Government Ethics? The answer here is simple. It didn’t slip through the cracks, the incomplete form had to have been seen and accepted. I find it hard to believe that Yates did not know the employment of the wife of her primary assistant but even if she wasn’t aware, there had to be a conversation when the incomplete form was submitted and Ohr would have had to explain his wife’s employment and ensure that Yates knew of any potential conflicts. Why would this happen? Because the ethics forms are discoverable under FOIA and Ohr and his boss did not want his connection to Fusion GPS becoming public knowledge.
And it seems as though this was a feature, not a bug, as Simpson seems to have known about it:
Simpson suggested in court records on Dec. 12, 2017, that the only way government investigators could have found out about Nellie Ohr’s relationship with the company was through its bank records. “Bank records reflect that Fusion contracted with Nellie Ohr, a former government official expert in Russian matters, to help our company with its research and analysis of Mr. Trump. I am not aware of any other sources from which the committee or the media could have learned of this information,” he said.
I don’t think Simpson is such a naif that he was unaware of Ohr’s ethics disclosure requirement.
Daily Caller asked Fat Wally Schaub, the former head of the office of government ethics and Trump nemesis, for comment. He had none. I wonder why?