Nellie Ohr, the wife of DOJ official Bruce Ohr and employee at GPS Fusion, has an closed door hearing with Congress on Friday, but now some say she has refused to make an appearance.
Ohr worked at Fusion GPS, the company behind the infamous Steele dossier, from December 2015 until right after the election. Her husband spoke with Christopher Steele, the man who put together the dossier, and Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson during that time as well.
The Daily Caller reported on September 16:
Republican lawmakers have questioned the Ohrs’ relationship to Fusion GPS and Steele. The husband-and-wife duo met with Steele on July 30, 2016, a day before the FBI opened its counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia. Nellie Ohr began working for Fusion GPS in December 2015. Congressional sources have told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Fusion approached Ohr for the job.
Bruce Ohr testified in August that just after the meeting with Steele, he contacted then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Ohr remained in contact with Steele even after the FBI cut ties with the former spy because of his unauthorized contacts with the media. Ohr provided at least a dozen briefings to the FBI about his conversations and meetings with Steele from November 2016 and May 2017. (RELATED: Fusion GPS Founder Shared ‘False Story’ About GOP Lawyer In Meeting With DOJ’s Bruce Ohr)
Republicans want to know why Fusion GPS hired Nellie Ohr as well as why Bruce Ohr was used to pass information to the FBI. Steele, a former MI6 officer, shared information from his investigation with the FBI in early July 2016.
This morning, though, sources have told The Daily Caller that Nellie has refused to appear at her hearing and that House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte wants to subpoena her. The sources mentioned “that former FBI general counsel James Baker is not cooperating with the committees’ request for an interview.”
Fox News reported after Bruce Ohr’s testimony that Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) found that the official “has a poor memory” and could “not remember a lot of details and, you know, poor memories are often claimed by people who want to stick to what they can say and not be caught in perjury.”
In December, the DOJ demoted Bruce Ohr amid a probe into his contacts with Fusion GPS. The agency stripped him of his title as associate deputy attorney general and he vacated his office on the fourth floor.
A week later, reports surfaced that Bruce’s wife Nellie worked at GPS. 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.
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).
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