Demoted DOJ official’s wife worked for Fusion GPS in 2016
Last week Fox News’ James Rosen reported that associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr would be losing that position and instead focusing on the other title he holds at DOJ: Director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces. Rosen noted that Ohr’s apparent demotion took place as the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) revealed Ohr had met with Christopher Steele, author of the Trump dossier and also with Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS. Today Rosen has a follow-up report indicating that Ohr’s wife actually worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign:
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…
The disclosure by Fox News that Bruce Ohr met with Simpson and Steele last year expanded the reach of the dossier’s creators from the FBI into the top echelons of the Justice Department. Initial investigation suggested that Steele, a longtime FBI informant whose contacts with Mr. Ohr are said to date back a decade, might have played the central role in putting Simpson together with the associate deputy attorney general. Now, the revelation that Mrs. Ohr worked for Simpson calls that account into question.
We already knew that Christopher Steele was sharing portions of his dossier with the FBI last year as he was compiling them for Fusion GPS. He claims he did that on his own because his findings seemed so significant. This story suggests Steele also had a direct, high-level connection at the DOJ. In addition, it seems Fusion GPS which was shopping the document to various news outlets last fall, also had a potential back-channel of communication to Ohr through his wife. To be clear, there’s no proof Mrs. Ohr worked on the dossier or talked about it with her husband at this point. What stinks here, and the reason Ohr was demoted last week, is that he failed to disclose his meetings with Steele and Simpson.
The first half of this clip is James Rosen’s appearance on Special Report detailing this story.