Rep. Mark Meadows says he is reviewing a criminal referral for false testimony against Nellie Ohr on the grounds that her testimony to Congress doesn’t appear to have been accurate. The Hill’s John Solomon reports that 339 pages of emails released in response to an FOIA request filed by Judicial Watch show that Nellie Ohr frequently sent open-source research material to her husband on Russia and Ukraine. Some of those emails were sent while she was still working for Fusion GPS.
“Hi Honey, if you ever get a moment you might find the penultimate article interesting — especially the summary in the final paragraph,” Nellie Ohr emailed her husband on July 6, 2016, in one typical communication. The article and paragraph she flagged suggested that Trump was a Putin stooge: “If Putin wanted to concoct the ideal candidate to service his purposes, his laboratory creation would look like Donald Trump.” Nellie Ohr bolded that key sentence for apparent emphasis…
When asked by House lawyers during her deposition last year, Nellie Ohr testified that she did not discuss her Fusion GPS research before fall 2016 with anyone except possibly her husband (which she refused to answer, citing marital privilege) and Steele at the hotel meeting…
But the DOJ emails show that Nellie Ohr frequently forwarded open-source research on Russia organized crime figures, Trump, Manafort and developments in the Ukraine with implications for the Trump campaign…
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), one of those who questioned Nellie Ohr last fall, said he is reviewing the accuracy of her testimony given the recent emergence of the emails.
“If Ms. Ohr used her time at the opposition research firm to place information directly in the hands of investigators, it would be a severe conflict of interest,” Meadows told me. “Contrary to Ms. Ohr’s congressional testimony, it appears that she funneled research gathered during her time at Fusion GPS directly to the DOJ. A draft of a criminal referral for giving false testimony to Congress is currently being reviewed.”
Meadows previously said he is considering criminal referrals for several people connected to Fusion GPS who gave testimony before Congress. One of those people is believed to be Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.
I suspect the argument in response to Nellie Ohr’s emailing of information to her husband is going to be that the material was all open source. So, in theory, anyone could have dug this up and her relaying it to her husband did not violate any laws. But this is one more instance where private conversations involving top DOJ and FBI officials seem to indicate a pretty clear partisan rooting interest during the campaign. Like the texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, you get the impression the Ohr family had definite opinions about Trump which might have played into official actions they took. In Bruce Ohr’s case, he took what Steele told him (in a meeting attended by his wife) and brought it to Andrew McCabe. The fact that Fusion GPS was working for Hillary and the DNC and its materials were being funneled into the DOJ through a back-channel seems problematic for an institution that is supposed to apply the law evenhandedly.
We’ll have to wait and see if Rep. Meadows follows through on the criminal referral against Ohr, Simpson, or anyone else. In the clip below, Rep. Jim Jordan confirms that Rep. Meadows is “working to finalize” the Ohr referral:
2/ @Jim_Jordan tells me today that based on this information he believes @MarkMeadows "is working to finalize" a criminal referral of Nellie Ohr. "We'll see if that happens." https://t.co/XRFfLX8AH1 pic.twitter.com/gDKCnh0bkw
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) May 1, 2019