Last week, I blogged how the DOJ demoted Bruce G. Ohr during an investigation into his contacts at Fusion GPS, the firm that produced the infamous on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The story has become more mysterious as Fox News revealed that Ohr’s wife worked at the firm during the election.
From Fox News:
Contacted by Fox News, investigators for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) confirmed that Nellie H. Ohr, wife of the demoted official, Bruce G. Ohr, worked for the opposition research firm last year. The precise nature of Mrs. Ohr’s duties – including whether she worked on the dossier – remains unclear but a review of her published works available online reveals Mrs. Ohr has written extensively on Russia-related subjects. HPSCI staff confirmed to Fox News that she was paid by Fusion GPS through the summer and fall of 2016.
Fusion GPS has attracted scrutiny because Republican lawmakers have spent the better part of this year investigating whether the dossier, which was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, served as the basis for the Justice Department and the FBI to obtain FISA surveillance last year on a Trump campaign adviser named Carter Page.
Fox News found out this about Mrs. Ohr:
A review of open source materials shows Mrs. Ohr was described as a Russia expert at the Wilson Center, a Washington think tank, when she worked there, briefly, a decade ago. The Center’s website said her project focused on the experiences of Russian farmers during Stalin’s collectivization program and following the invasion of Russia by Nazi forces in 1941. She has also reviewed a number of books about twentieth century Russia, including Reconstructing the State: Personal Networks and Elite Identity in Soviet Russia (2000), by Gerald Easter, a political scientist at Boston College, and Bertrand M. Patenaude’s The Big Show in Bololand: The American Relief Expedition to Soviet Russia in the Famine of 1921 (2002).
HPSCI Chairman David Nunes told Fox that the committee “is looking into all facets of the connections between the Department of Justice and Fusion GPS, including Mr. Ohr.
The DOJ stripped Ohr of his title as associate deputy attorney general. He kept his title of director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). He will also vacate his office on the fourth floor of “Main Justice,” which was located four offices down from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Those within the DOJ told the network that is was “unusual” for him to have “two hats” at the department, but he never told anyone about his connections to the men in charge at Fusion GPS. He met with with Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy who wrote the dossier, during the campaign. He also met with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson after the election:
According to congressional sources, Simpson and Ohr met sometime around Thanksgiving last year, when President-elect Trump was in the process of selecting his Cabinet, and discussed over coffee the anti-Trump dossier, the Russia investigation, and what Simpson considered the distressing development of Trump’s victory.
How exactly Simpson and Ohr came to know each other is still being investigated but initial evidence collected by the House intelligence committee suggests that the two were placed in touch by Steele, a former FBI informant whose contacts with Ohr are said by senior DOJ officials to date back to 2006.
These findings “expanded the reach of the dossier’s creators from the FBI into the top echelons of the Justice Department.” The first investigation found that Steele “might have played the central role in putting Simpson together with the associate deputy attorney general.” The development with Mrs. Ohr may refute that finding.
Former FBI Director James Comey told a House panel in March that the dossier was filled with “salacious and unverified” allegations against Trump and those who worked with him.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.