BRUCE OHR is an operative who like many “cloak and dagger” guys keeps out of the limelight; a shady character – that is till now.
Who is Bruce Ohr?
Ohr wrote that Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy who wrote the salacious dossier, was “very concerned (abt) about [former FBI Director James] Comey’s firing — afraid they will be exposed.”
The Ohr documents shed more light on Steele’s activities before the presidential election. While Steele shopped the dossier to multiple media outlets, he also appeared to ask Ohr for help with a Russian oligarch — Oleg Deripaska — after rumors the U.S. might impose sanctions.
Ohr had a conflict of interest during the presidential campaign and transition, congressional investigators say, because his wife Nellie worked for Fusion GPS. Steele, an ex-British spy, was a key source cited by the FBI and Department of Justice to obtain a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant to monitor Page.
After the FBI dropped Steele as a source in November 2016 over his contacts with the media, the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee found that Steele had maintained contact with government officials by effectively using Ohr as a back channel.
During recent congressional testimony, now-fired FBI agent Peter Strzok confirmed that “the FBI received documents and material from Mr. Ohr.”
On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced that President Trump had terminated former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance, and was reviewing the clearances of several other former officials. Sanders read a statement from Trump that cited what he described as Brennan’s misleading testimony before Congress and his increasingly partisan rhetoric, saying Brennan improperly traded on his access to classified information.
“For this reason, I’ve also begun to review the more general question of the access to classified information by government officials,” Trump’s statement read. “As part of this review I’m evaluating action with respect to the following individuals: James Clapper, James Comey, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Bruce Ohr.”
Ohr is the only official on that list still working in the U.S. government.
During closed-door congressional testimony last year, the co-founder of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, claimed he had no contact with Ohr until after the presidential election. But Ohr’s work emails conflict with Simpson’s testimony, and show contact months earlier.
Ohr’s notes also indicate that in December 2016, there was a meeting in Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown between Fusion GPS’ Simpson and Ohr, with Ohr writing, “Glen(n) gave me a memory stick.”
Reacting to the news late Thursday, President Trump suggested the disclosures were more proof of a “witch hunt” against him.
“DOJ’s Emails & Notes show Bruce Ohr’s connection to (phony & discredited) Trump Dossier,” Trump wrote. “A creep thinking he would get caught in a dishonest act. Rigged Witch Hunt!”
FROM THE The Washington Post
Fusion GPS was started by investigative reporter Glenn R. Simpson among others. They started investigating Trump under a contract with the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website financially supported by GOP megadonor Paul Singer in 2015. That assignment ended once Trump was on track to win the nomination. But in April 2016, Fusion was hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to keep funding the research. Look at this another way; a lawyer represents a husband in a divorce proceeding then turns around and represent the wife once the divorce is settled. Is that legal? Is there a code of ethics addressing these types of situations? However it is apparent that no code of ethics exists in the blood sport of politics.
Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, was hired by Fusion to examine Trump’s ties in Russia. Steele was the author of the “dossier” alleging ties between Trump and Russia; the dossier is actually several memos, based on conversations with Russian sources, that were written between June and December of 2016.
The probe into the Trump campaign originally was sparked by a separate matter that Steele never wrote about — a tip from an Australian diplomat that a Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, appeared to know Russia had obtained damaging emails on the Democrats. Ohr, head of Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) was associate deputy attorney general until late 2017, when the DOJ learned of his contacts with Steele.
Ohr’s wife, Nellie, is a consultant and Russia specialist who has done some work for Fusion GPS. The majority report of the House Intelligence Committee said she was “employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Also, Bruce Ohr and Steele knew each other, apparently because of organized-crime issues. Simpson knew Ohr as well,
In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Simpson said Steele suggested he speak to Ohr after the “very surprising” victory by Trump. But on July 1, 2016, shortly after Steele filed the first report for Fusion and only a few days before he met with an FBI agent to discuss his findings, Steele wrote to Ohr: “There is something separate I wanted to discuss with you informally and separately. It concerns our favorite business tycoon!”
On July 30, Steele met Bruce and Nellie Ohr for breakfast in Washington. And Bruce Ohr apparently spoke to Simpson on Aug. 22, according to phone logs reviewed by York.
The House majority report pointedly notes: “In September 2016, Steele admitted to Ohr his feelings against then candidate Trump when Steele said he ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.’”