May 9, 2019 – Who Were the Mueller Report’s Hired Guns?
By: Paul Sperry, RealClearInvestigations
“Special Counsel Robert Mueller spent more than $732,000 on outside contractors, including private investigators and researchers, records show, but his office refuses to say who they were. While it’s not unusual for special government offices to outsource for services such as computer support, Mueller also hired contractors to compile “investigative reports” and other “information.”
The arrangement has led congressional investigators, government watchdog groups and others to speculate that the private investigators and researchers who worked for the special counsel’s office might have included Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS, the private research firm that hired Steele to produce the Russia collusion dossier for the Clinton campaign.
They suspect the dossier creators may have been involved in Mueller’s operation – and even had a hand in his final report – because the special counsel sent his team to London to meet with Steele within a few months of taking over the Russia collusion investigation in 2017. Also, Mueller’s lead prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann, had shared information he received from Fusion with the media.
Raising additional suspicions, Mueller’s report recycles the general allegations leveled in the dossier. And taking a page from earlier surveillance-warrant applications in the Russia investigation, it cites as supporting evidence several articles – including one by Yahoo! News – that used Steele and Fusion as sources.
Mueller even kept alive one of the dossier’s most obscene accusations – that Moscow had “compromising tapes” of Trump with Russian hookers – by slipping into a footnote an October 2016 text Trump lawyer Michael Cohen received from a “Russian businessman,” who cryptically intimated, “Stopped flow of tapes from Russia.” Lawyers for the businessman, Giorgi Rtskhiladze (who is actually a Georgian-American), are demanding a retraction of the footnote, arguing Mueller omitted the part of his text where he said he did not believe the rumor about the tapes, for which no evidence has ever surfaced.
Mueller’s reliance on the Steele dossier is raising questions because it occurred long after FBI Director James B. Comey described the dossier as “salacious and unverified.”
U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said the report should be renamed “The Mueller Dossier,” because he says it contains a lot of similar innuendo. Even though Mueller failed to corroborate key allegations leveled in the dossier, Nunes said his report twists key facts to put a collusion gloss on events. He also asserted that it selectively quotes from Trump campaign emails and omits exculpatory information in ways that cast the campaign’s activities in the most sinister light.
Steele’s 17-memo dossier alleged that the Trump campaign was involved in “a well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” with the Russian government to rig the 2016 presidential election in Trump’s favor. It claimed this conspiracy “was managed on the Trump side by Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, who was using foreign policy adviser Carter Page and others as intermediaries.” Specifically, the dossier accused Page of secretly meeting with Kremlin officials in July 2016 to hatch a plot to release dirt on Hillary Clinton. And it accused Manafort of being corrupted by Russian President Vladimir Putin through his puppets in the Ukraine.
Likewise, Mueller’s report focuses on Manafort and Page and whether they “committed crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.”
Though the investigation did not establish that Page coordinated with the Russian government, the Mueller report implies there may be a kernel of truth to the dossier’s charges.
“In July 2016, Campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page traveled in his personal capacity to Moscow and gave the keynote address at the New Economic School,” according to the section on him. “Page had lived and worked in Russia between 2003 and 2007. After returning to the United States, Page became acquainted with at least two Russian intelligence officers, one of whom was later charged in 2015 with conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of Russia.”
Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, heads to a news conference at RIA Novosti news agency in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Page said he was in Moscow on a visit to meet with businessmen and politicians.
Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow and his advocacy for pro-Russian foreign policy drew media attention,” Mueller’s narrative continued. “July 2016 was also the month WikiLeaks first released emails stolen by the GRU [Russian intelligence] from the DNC.”
“Page acknowledged that he understood that the individuals he has associated with were members of the Russian intelligence services,” the report added, implying that Page in the 2015 case (referenced above) knowingly cavorted with Russian spies, which echoes charges Steele made in his dossier.
But federal court records make it clear that Page did not know that those men were Russian agents.
Mueller also left out of his report a detail RealClearInvestigations has previously reported: that Page was a cooperating witness in the case in question, helping the FBI eventually put a Russian agent behind bars in 2016. Nor did Mueller see fit to include in his report another exculpatory detail revealed in agent Gregory Mohaghan’s complaint and reported earlier by RCI — namely, that the Russians privately referred to Page as “an idiot” who was unworthy of recruitment.
Excluding such details is curious, given that the Mueller report quotes from the same FBI complaint and cites it in its footnotes. Similarly, in its section dealing with Manafort, the Mueller report echoes the dossier’s claims that the Trump campaign chairman was in cahoots with the Kremlin, even though Mueller never charged him with conspiring to collude with Russia.
The special prosecutor’s report indicated that one of Manafort’s Kremlin handlers was Konstantin Kilimnik.
“Manafort briefed Kilimnik on the state of the Trump Campaign and Manafort’s plan to win the election,” it said. “That briefing encompassed the Campaign’s messaging and its internal polling data. It also included discussion of ‘battleground’ states, which Manafort identified as Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.”
Except that this wouldn’t have been an unusual conversation: Kilimnik was a longtime Manafort employee who ran the Ukraine office of his lobbying firm. Footnotes in Mueller’s report show that Manafort shared campaign information to impress a former business partner, Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who was suing him over financial losses. Mueller failed to tie the information exchange to Russian espionage. He also failed to mention that Deripaska is an FBI informant.
Mueller’s team worked closely with dossier author Steele, a long-retired British intelligence officer who worked for the Clinton campaign. Mueller’s investigators went to London to consult with Steele for at least two days in September 2017 while apparently using his dossier as an investigative road map and central theory to his collusion case. Steele now runs a private research and consulting firm in London, Orbis Business Intelligence.
It’s not clear if Mueller’s office paid Steele, but recently released FBI records show the bureau previously made a number of payments to him, and at one point during the 2016 campaign offered him $50,000 to continue his dossier research. Steele was also paid through the Clinton campaign, earning $168,000 for his work on the dossier.
Expenditure statements show that the Special Counsel’s Office outsourced “investigative reports” and “information” to third-party contractors during Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian “collusion” during the 2016 presidential election.
Over the past few months, Mueller’s office has rejected several formal requests from RealClearInvestigations for contract details, including who was hired and how much they were paid.
Washington-based Judicial Watch suspects Mueller’s office may have farmed out work to the private Washington research firm Fusion GPS or its subcontractor Steele, both of whom were paid by the Clinton camp during the 2016 presidential election. Several law enforcement and Hill sources who spoke with RCI also believe Steele and Fusion GPS were deputized in the investigation.
The government watchdog group has requested that the Justice Department turn over the contracting records, along with all budget requests Mueller submitted to the attorney general during his nearly two-year investigation. It’s also requested all communications between the Special Counsel’s Office and the private contractors it used.
A Judicial Watch spokesman said its Freedom of Information Act request is pending.
Special counsel spokesman Peter Carr declined comment when asked specifically if Mueller’s team hired or collaborated with Fusion GPS or any of its subcontractors. Mueller took over the FBI’s Russia probe in May 2017, whereupon he hired many of the agents who handled Steele and pored over his dossier.
For the first reporting period ending Sept. 30, 2017, and covering just four months, the Special Counsel’s Office reported paying $867 to unnamed contractors for “investigative reports/information,” along with $3,554 in “miscellaneous” payments to contractors.
In the next reporting period ending March 31, 2018, the office stopped breaking out investigative reports and information as a separate line item, lumping such contractual services under the category “Other,” which accounted for a total of $10,812, or more than 4% of the total spending on outside contracts.
For the six months ending Dona – the latest reporting period for which there is data – Mueller’s office showed a total of $310,732 in payments to outside contractors. For the first time, it did not break out such expenses into subcategories, though it noted that the lion’s share of the $310,000 was spent on “IT services.”
Mueller concluded his investigation and delivered his final report in March. The next expenditure report, for the period October 2018-March 2019, will cover contract work directly tied to compiling the report.
Asked if the contracting details were classified, Carr demurred. If the information is not deemed classified, it must be made public, Judicial Watch maintains.
Republican critics on the Hill say Mueller’s written narrative was slanted to give the impression there still might be something to the dossier’s most salacious allegations, even though Mueller found no evidence corroborating them or establishing that Trump or his campaign coordinated or cooperated with Russian meddling in the election.
“Whoever wrote the report leaves you with the idea there’s still something to all the allegations of collusion that were first promoted by the dossier,” said a witness who was interviewed by Mueller’s investigators late in the probe and is referenced in the report.
In a section on Donald Trump Jr., moreover, the report gives the misimpression that the president’s oldest son was collaborating with WikiLeaks on the release of the Clinton campaign emails.
“Donald Trump Jr. had direct electronic communications with WikiLeaks during the campaign period,” it stated.
In fact, Trump got an unsolicited message through his Twitter account from WikiLeaks. He described the outreach as “weird” in an email to senior Trump campaign staff at the time. Other contemporaneous messages make it clear he had no advance knowledge about any Clinton emails released by WikiLeaks.
The FBI first began receiving memos from Steele’s dossier in early July 2016 and used the documents as the foJeundation for its October 2016 application for a warrant to wiretap the private communications of Page. These milestones are missing from the Mueller report’s chronology of events. In fact, neither Steele nor his dossier is mentioned by name anywhere in the first half of the report dealing with collusion, though their allegations are hashed out.
Some Mueller critics are focused on the role played by his top prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann, a Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter with longstanding ties to Steele and Fusion GPS.
“Weissman had a lot to do with the way the report was written,” said author Jerome Corsi, who, as a friend of Trump confidant Roger Stone, was targeted by Mueller. “That’s why it’s basically a political document.”
Corsi said he spent more than 40 hours with Mueller’s prosecutors and investigators, who grilled him about possible ties to WikiLeaks but never charged him with a crime.
Formerly a top Justice Department official under Obama, Weissmann not only donated to Clinton’s presidential campaign but also attended her election-night party in New York City in November 2016. Three months earlier, he was briefed on Steele’s dossier and other dirt provided by the Clinton contractor and paid FBI informant. In early 2017, Weissmann helped advance the Russia collusion narrative by personally sharing Steele’s and Fusion’s dirt on Trump and his advisers with Washington reporters.
In an April 2017 meeting he arranged at his office, Weissmann gave guidance to four Associated Press reporters who were investigating Manafort, according to internal FBI documents.
Among other things, they discussed rumors that Manafort used “some of the money from shell companies to buy expensive suits.” A month later, Weissmann became the lead prosecutor handling the Manafort case for Mueller. His February 2018 indictment of Manafort highlights, among other things, the Trump adviser’s taste for expensive suits.
Attempts to reach Weissmann for comment were unsuccessful.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said there are signs Mueller may have hired “researchers” like Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, who worked with Steele on the dossier, along with Edward Baumgartner and Nellie Ohr, who have worked for Fusion GPS, which originally hired Steele in June 2016 after contracting with the Clinton campaign.
“I ran into Glenn at the 2017 Aspen Security [Forum], and I distinctly remember him leaning in and claiming he was working for the government,” said one associate, who wished to remain anonymous.
Congressional investigators say Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, has been feeding Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate investigative tips regarding Trump and his associates, including Manafort.
In 2017, for instance, he urged Democrats specifically to look into the bank records of Deutsche Bank, which has financed some of Trump’s businesses, because he suspected some of the funding may have been laundered through Russia.
Around the time Simpson began coordinating with Democratic investigators looking into Trump’s bank records, Mueller subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for financial records for Manafort and other individuals affiliated with Trump.
Simpson did not return calls and emails seeking comment.
Founded by the journalist-turned-opposition researcher, Fusion has rehired Steele to continue his anti-Trump work with millions of dollars in left-wing funding from The Democracy Integrity Project, a Washington-based nonprofit started in 2017 by former FBI analyst Daniel Jones, who also worked for Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
In March 2017, Jones met with FBI agents to provide them data he collected from IT specialists he hired to analyze web traffic between servers maintained by the Trump Organization and a Russian bank mentioned in the dossier. The traffic turned out to be innocuous marketing emails, or spam. (RealClearInvestigations, 5/09/2019)
(This and all other original articles created by RealClearInvestigations may be republished for free with attribution. These terms do not apply to outside articles linked on the site.)
- Andrew Weissmann
- Carter Page
- Christopher Steele
- Clinton campaign
- Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier
- Devin Nunes
- Donald Trump Jr.
- Edward Baumgartner
- Fusion GPS
- Glenn Simpson
- Gregory Mohaghan
- House Intelligence Committee
- Jerome Corsi
- Konstantin Kilimnik
- May 2019
- Michael Cohen
- Mueller Report
- Nellie Ohr
- Oleg Deripaska
- Paul Manafort
- private contractors
- Robert Mueller
- Russia collusion
May 1, 2019 – Rep. Mark Meadows files a criminal referral on Nellie Ohr for possible false testimony
On October 19, 2018, Nellie Ohr appeared before the House Committee on the Judiciary and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform as part of our joint investigation into decisions made and not made by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) surrounding the 2016 presidential election. Documents and information reviewed by our committees raise concerns Ms. Ohr knowingly provided false testimony in violation of 18 U.S.C.§1001.
During her transcribed interview, Ms. Ohr testified she “would not have any knowledge of what [was] going on in an ongoing investigation” at DOJ and would not “have any knowledge of the Department of Justice’s investigations on Russia.”
Ms. Ohr also denied she shared her research on Russian organized crime and Donald Trump with individuals outside of Fusion GPS (her employer); her husband, DOJ attorney Bruce Ohr, and Christopher Steele.
However, documents reviewed by our committees raise concerns Ms. Ohr not only had knowledge of an ongoing DOJ investigation, but that she shared information and research on Russian organized crime to assist DOJ, in direct contradiction with her testimony. For example, in March 2016, DOJ official Lisa Holtyn sent Bruce Ohr an email asking if Nellie would be able to speak with Ivana Nizich and Joe Wheatley to discuss her research as part of an ongoing investigation as she was told “Nellie might be a great resource.”
When Mr. Ohr checked if Nellie would feel comfortable speaking with DOJ, Nellie emailed “Sure!”
A separate email chain indicates Ms. Ohr shared her research on Russian organized crime in contradiction to her testimony. Specifically, on a separate email chain between Nellie Ohr, Mr. Ohr, Ms. Holtyn, and DOJ officials Joe Wheatley and Ivana Nizich, Ms. Ohr provides the Department of Justice with analysis of Shakro, a Russian mafia boss, and the separatists in the Donbass war.
Taking these communications into account, in addition to other information we have reviewed, Ms. Ohr misled the committees when she testified she would not have any knowledge of what was going on in an ongoing DOJ investigation, and that she had not shared her research outside of Fusion GPS, her husband, and Christopher Steele.Truthful witness testimony is crucial to the integrity of investigations conducted by the House of Representatives. Ms. Ohr violated her oath to tell the truth by making demonstrably false statements during her testimony before the Committee. Accordingly, I am referring Nellie Ohr to the Department of Justice for investigation of potential violation(s) of 18 U.S.C.§1001 et seq. (John Solomon/Scribd, 5/1/2019)
March 28, 2019 – Nellie Ohr’s full transcript is released
(…) “Beginning in September 2015, Ohr began working for Fusion GPS. Ohr told investigators that she “read an article in the paper that mentioned Glenn Simpson. And I remembered because he had been a Wall Street Journal reporter working on things like Russian crime and corruption, so I recognized the name. I was underemployed at that time and I was looking for opportunities.”
When later questioned as to her previous knowledge of Simpson, Ohr stated, “I had been at a conference that he was at. I don’t recall directly talking with him at that conference, and I don’t know whether he knew who, you know, who I was other than the fact that I attended that conference.”
Ohr acknowledged to congressional investigators that Simpson was acquainted with her husband, Bruce Ohr. (read more)
The implication here is that Nellie Ohr approached Fusion-GPS owner Glenn Simpson for a job; essentially to work on political opposition research files Fusion-GPS was assembling in 2015. This is distinctly different from Glenn Simpson seeking out Nellie Ohr, and opens the entire background to larger ramifications.
Our research has always indicated that Nellie’s work product was transmitted to Christopher Steele as part of an intelligence laundry process. Chris Steele laundered Nellie’s information, provided second verification where possible, formatted into an official intelligence file, and returned that file -now named the Steele Dossier- to the FBI.
However, if it becomes verified that it was CIA contracted (former or current) Nellie Ohr who approached Simpson, then it becomes possible, perhaps likely, the intelligence information (seeds carried by Nellie), originated from the CIA.
Nellie Ohr petitioning Glenn Simpson for a job would be an explosive change in the dynamic. However, it could further explain some other unusual side-issues including why Nellie suddenly started using a HAM radio.
First, this revelation would imply that an inside government effort from the CIA was likely the origination of material that Nellie would “discover” while working for Fusion. Under this possibility the laundry process would have two washes.
The first wash was from some unknown CIA intelligence sources to Nellie Ohr…. The second wash was from Nellie Ohr to Christopher Steele (the second wash we always knew).
Second, whether Glenn Simpson knew of Nellie’s intent, or was likely willfully blind, is another question. I tend to think it didn’t really matter. Simpson hired Nellie to get valuable oppo-research he could turn into a commodity.
Simpson wouldn’t necessarily care how Nellie found the information, and he knew her background in the intelligence research community. The commodity was always the Trump-research file; which was then sold to the Clinton campaign after the contract with the DNC was made through Perkins Coie.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 3/28/2019)
March 8, 2019 – House Republican, Doug Collins, releases Bruce Ohr’s unredacted transcript
“Georgia Rep. Doug Collins unilaterally released a 268-page transcript Friday of a deposition that Justice Department official Bruce Ohr gave to Congress in August.
Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, took the unusual step by reading a statement on the House floor and providing a link to the Ohr transcript in the public record. The representative said his patience with the Justice Department “has grown thin.”
Ohr served in 2016 and 2017 as a back channel between the FBI and Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the anti-Trump dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, worked as a contractor for Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that hired Steele.
Bruce Ohr was interviewed on Aug. 28, 2018 by a task force of members from the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees.
Collins said Friday that he plans to release additional transcripts from interviews conducted by the task force. Lawmakers have also interviewed Nellie Ohr and FBI and Justice Department officials such as former FBI general counsel James Baker and former FBI attorney Lisa Page.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 3/08/2019)
November 30, 2018 – New details reinforce that the FBI used fake pretexts to start investigating Trump
“The evidence continues to mount that during the Obama administration, the FBI used George Papadopoulos as a prop to legitimize launching its investigation into the Donald Trump campaign. While the FBI claimed it initiated Crossfire Hurricane on July 31, 2016 in response to reports that Russian-linked individuals told Papadopoulos the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton, that story seemed shaky from the start.
Since then, text and email messages between former MI6 spy and Fusion GPS dossier author Christopher Steele and twice-demoted Department of Justice attorney Bruce Ohr raised the possibility that information Steele fed the FBI through Ohr was the true justification for the the FBI targeting the Trump campaign. A Wednesday tweet from Carter Page gives further credence to the suggestion that the Hillary Clinton campaign-funded Steele dossier served as the basis for the FBI’s interest in the Trump campaign.
In his tweet, Page included a screen grab of a July 2016 text message from Washington Post reporter Damian Paletta asking the former Trump campaign advisor about his supposed meeting in Moscow with Igor Sechin, and another meeting Page reportedly had with “a senior Kremlin official—Divyekin—and he said they have solid kompromat on Clinton as well as Trump.”
The details in Paletta’s text mirror the information contained in the Steele dossier memorandum dated July 19, 2016. The July 26, 2016, date of the text indicates Steele must have shared his supposed intelligence with the Washington Post reporter around that time. Here are relevant sections in the dossier memorandum, below.
It is difficult to fathom that Steele would share the details of his dossier with a reporter but not with his long-time friend Ohr when Steele met with Bruce and his wife Nellie on July 30, 2016 in Washington D.C. Yet, in his memorandum on the Russian investigation, incoming House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff claimed “Steele’s reporting did not reach the counterintelligence team investigating Russia at FBI headquarters until mid-September 2016, more than seven weeks after the FBI opened its investigation, because the probe’s existence was so closely held within the FBI.”
A second detail from this week’s reporting on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation adds further evidence to the fraud the FBI pushed in pointing to Papadopoulos as the basis for the Russian probe. Papadopoulos’ purported Russian connection was a Maltese academic named Joseph Mifsud, who supposedly told Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on Clinton. However, as I noted previously, in February 2017—more than six months after the FBI launched their investigation into the Trump campaign—Mifsud spoke at a State Department-sponsored function in Washington D.C., at which time the FBI interviewed him. Mifsud later returned to Italy and disappeared.” (Read more: The Federalist, 11/30/2018)
Oct. 19, 2018 – Nellie Ohr Testimony Confirms Her Work for the CIA
(..) “According to a transcript of an Oct. 19, 2018, closed-door testimony, which was reviewed by The Epoch Times, Ohr acknowledged to congressional investigators that she worked as an independent contractor for “various agencies in the United States Government.”
Ohr testified that she worked for the CIA’s Open Source Works (OSW) division. She also revealed that prior to her work for the CIA, she worked for Mitre, which is funded by the U.S. government and interacts with various intelligence agencies.
Ms. Ohr: Starting in 2000, I did some part-time contracting for Mitre, which is a contract —
Rep. Jordan: I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you.
Ms. Ohr: Mitre. Mitre Corporation, which in turn had contracts with U.S. Government clients.
Rep. Jordan: Got it.
Ms. Ohr: Through most of 2008. And then starting in 2008, I worked for Open Source Works.
Mitre Corporation is a “not-for-profit company that operates multiple federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs).” In other words, Mitre is a government-funded enterprise that conducts research for the U.S. government.
Of greater interest was Ohr’s employment as an independent contractor for OSW, the CIA’s internal open source division.
Ohr’s Work for the CIA
The CIA describes OSW as a division that uses open-source information to produce intelligence products.
“[Open Source Works] was charged by the Director for Intelligence with drawing on language-trained analysts to mine open-source information for new or alternative insights on intelligence issues,” states an unclassified Nov. 16, 2010, CIA report headlined “Russia: Security Concerns About Iran’s Space Program Growing.”
Ohr told congressional investigators that she began working for Open Source Works in 2008, but provided no time-frame for her end date. Her profile on LinkedIn, however, provides some indication that she may have remained employed with Open Source Works through 2014.
From 2000 to 2014, Ohr lists herself on her resume as a “Linguist/Research Analyst – Self-employed.” But she also concurrently lists her 2013-2015 employment with Plessas Experts’ Networks as an “Expert/Content Creator.”
Ohr told congressional investigators that she intentionally did not list any agencies on her resume when working as an independent contractor for the U.S. government:
Rep. Meadows: So I have one follow-up. Have you ever submitted a resume that would list any of those agencies on that resume?
Ms. Ohr: No.
Rep. Meadows: So no resume that would indicate that you did work for those agencies on a resume?
Ms. Ohr: My resume stated that I was an independent contractor doing work in support of U.S. Government.
Rep. Meadows: But normally there is a sentence or two right after it on what they did. And so what I’m saying is, did — in those resumes, and for example, like with Mitre, we do work with the CIA, NSA whoever —
Ms. Ohr: I do not explicitly name those agencies in a resume.
August 29, 2018 – The day after Ohr’s testimony, congress seeks to question his wife
“Numerous congressional sources are telling SaraACarter.com that after Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr’s explosive closed-door testimony on Tuesday, lawmakers are gearing up to call his wife, Nellie Ohr, in for questioning regarding her work with the now-embattled research firm, Fusion GPS. Congress is also seeking access to Bruce Ohr’s text messages and emails with top FBI officials.”
(…) “Nellie Ohr, a Russia expert who was hired by Fusion GPS in 2016 to investigate the Trump campaign, received multiple large sum payments from the research firm, according to a U.S. official, with direct knowledge of the payments.
The payments from the DNC and Clinton campaign were made through the law firm Perkins Coie, which represented both clients. The research firm also hired former British spy Christopher Steele, who was friends with the Ohrs and who compiled the now infamous and unverified anti-Trump dossier. Steele was not only paid by Fusion GPS for his work but according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, he was also being paid by the FBI from Jan. 1. 2016 to Nov. 1, 2016.
The U.S. official did not disclose the amount of money paid to Bruce Ohr’s wife through Simpson’s firm, but said it “was not chump change, that much I can say.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 8/28/2018)
August 28, 2018 – Ohr discusses Steele’s anti-Trump bias
(…) “Steele’s biases against then-candidate Trump have been reported in the media. Ohr testified that he relayed these to the FBI prior to the election.
“Prior to the election, when I spoke with Chris Steele, I got the sense he was very alarmed by this information, which I think he believed to be true. And so I definitely got the impression he did not want Donald Trump to win the election,” Ohr said in his testimony.
“I don’t recall the exact words. I definitely had a very strong impression that he did not want Donald Trump to win, because he believed his information he was giving me was accurate, and that he was, as I said, very concerned, or he was desperate, which is what I then told the FBI,” Ohr said.
Ohr later testified that he informed the FBI of Steele’s bias, along with details of his wife’s employment with Fusion GPS—and Fusion’s political mandate—prior to the Oct. 21, 2016, FISA application made on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page:
Q: “So the record is clear, what the Department of Justice and the FBI was aware of prior to the first FISA application was your relationship with Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson, your wife’s relationship with Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson, Mr. Steele’s bias against Donald Trump, Mr. Simpson’s bias against Donald Trump, your wife’s compensation for work for Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS, correct?”
Ohr: “Right. So just, again, to reiterate, when I spoke with the FBI, I told them my wife was working for Fusion GPS. I told them Fusion GPS was doing research on Donald Trump. You know, I don’t know if I used the term opposition research, but certainly that was my—what I tried to convey to them. I told them this is the information I had gotten from Chris Steele. At some point, and I don’t remember exactly when, I don’t think it was the first conversation, I told them that Chris Steele was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected.”
It turns out that Ohr personally told Deputy FBI Director McCabe of his concerns about possible bias during the initial August 2016 meeting:
Q: “So in August of 2016, you tell Andy McCabe that you’re concerned because your wife works for Fusion GPS and that’s where you’re getting the information?”
Ohr: “I wanted Mr. McCabe to know that there was a possible, you know—that the—”
Q: “Conflict of interest—”
Ohr: “—of interest or appearance thereof, yeah.”
Q: “So there’s a possible conflict of interest in August of 2016 before a FISA warrant is actually initiated?”
Ohr: “I think I did not mean to say conflict of interest. What I would say is that in evaluating any information that I transmitted to the FBI, I wanted the FBI to be aware of any possible bias—”
Q: “So you believe there was the possibility of bias?”
August 28, 2018 – Bruce Ohr testifies his wife wrote a separate dossier about Russians for Fusion GPS and he passed it on to the FBI
“And now we learn, from testimony that is still being kept secret from the public, that Ohr admitted to Congress last year that he also took Russia information that his wife, Nellie, assembled against Trump on a computer drive and delivered that to the FBI in 2016 — a revelation that has raised fresh concerns in Congress about a possible conflict of interest.
Nellie Ohr worked for Fusion GPS and, for a time, worked on the same Clinton-financed Russian research project as Steele, according to the testimony.
DOJ ethics rules forbid department officials from working in cases where a spouse has a financial interest, a prohibition that Bruce Ohr said he knew about when he forwarded his wife’s evidence to the FBI.
The way Ohr described it, his wife’s research was like an additional dossier assembled from Fusion GPS research to augment what Steele was separately providing the FBI.
“She (Nellie Ohr) provided me with a memory stick that included research she had done for Fusion GPS on various Russian figures,” Ohr told congressional investigators.
“And the reason she provided that information to me is, my understanding was, it related to some of the same — it related to the FBI’s Russia investigation. And she gave me that stick to give to the FBI.”
Ohr’s revelation about his wife adds yet another example of people connected to the Clinton machine flooding the FBI with anti-Trump Russia research during the 2016 election.
Steele’s dossier was the opening salvo. A document sent to the State Department by Clinton proteges Cody Shearer and Sidney Blumenthal was another. A thumb drive given by Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman to FBI general counsel James Baker was a third. Simpson’s thumb drive given to Bruce Ohr was a fourth. And Nellie Ohr’s thumb drive would be a fifth. At least three of those work products — those from Steele, Shearer/Blumenthal and Nellie Ohr — resemble what many people might consider a dossier.” (Read more: The Hill, 2/21/2019)
August 28, 2018 – Bruce Ohr: FBI Knew About Bias Before Getting a FISA On Carter Page
“Senior Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr testified Tuesday that prior to obtaining the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on short-term Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page, the FBI was aware that former British spy and anti-Trump dossier author, Christopher Steele was biased against then-candidate Trump. He also stated that the FBI knew that his wife, Nellie Ohr was working for Fusion GPS, the now-embattled research firm which was hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC to compile the dossier with Steele. This, according to Congressional sources with direct knowledge of Ohr’s closed-door deposition.
Ohr stated during his hours-long testimony that the FBI failed to disclose this pertinent information to the nation’s secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) when it sought an application to spy on Page. The FBI also failed to disclose that when it sought the application, it was using senior Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr as a cut-out for a source the bureau had terminated.
Ohr had also communicated with senior members of the FBI, including former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI attorney Lisa Page, and former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, at the bureau but stated that his superiors at the Justice Department were not aware that he was being used as a source for the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign, according to sources who spoke to SaraACarter.com.
“When it comes to the dossier, the hours of testimony from Bruce Ohr only further confirm how wrong the FBI operated,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) told this news outlet. Jordan would not give details on the testimony but stated that Ohr’s deposition was a necessary part of the investigation and getting to the truth.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 8/28/2018)
- Andrew McCabe
- August 2018
- Bruce Ohr
- Carter Page
- Clinton campaign
- Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier
- Department of Justice
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- FISA Title-1 surveillance warrant
- Fusion GPS
- House Judiciary Committee
- House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
- Lisa Page
- Nellie Ohr
- Peter Strzok
- political bias
- Sara Carter
- Trump campaign
- U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)