Investigate the Investigators: Bruce Ohr Saga

Investigate the Investigators: Bruce Ohr Saga

As America seems to be on the cusp of receiving Inspector General Michael Horowitz report within the coming weeks as well as the Durham and Huber reports, we, here at 777 Media Source decided it was time to delve into this complicated investigation and lay it out the best we can.

We are starting with former Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr because of the most recent revelations regarding Ohr’s involvement with Trump dossier author Christopher Steele.

Judicial Watch has done most of the heavy lifting in regards to getting FBI and DOJ documents outlining how these agencies passed information along, even though it was not properly vetted.

On December 5, 2016, Bruce Ohr emailed himself a document titled, “WhoseWho19Sept2016” that was originally made by his wife Nellie Ohr. Nellie Ohr was working for Fusion GPS at the time and was tasked with finding connections between Trump, his family, and possible criminals, most of which were Russian. The list of associates they linked to Trump ranged from a Uzbek mafia don, to a Russian money launderer, to a man who poured him a drink. On the same day, Bruce Ohr also sent himself a document titled “Manafort Chronology” which outlined Paul Manafort’s travel and interactions with Russians as well as other officials. This document was also created by his wife Nellie and Fusion GPS.

The FBI 302’s or interview reports that were recently released show that on December 5, December 12, and December 20, 2016, Bruce Ohr “voluntarily” gave those particular documents to the FBI even though they were created by his wife and Fusion GPS and not a legitimate or organic source as well as a conflict of interest.

On February 14, 2017 former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Kathleen Kavalec, forwarded Bruce Ohr an article from the Huffington Post outlining the Steele Dossier’s allegations that a deal between Russian oil company Rosneft and Steve Schwarzman, who’s a Trump supporter, showed, “high crime of treason worthy of impeachment.” Bruce Ohr took that article and sent it to the Washington Field Office (FBI) on the same day.

The issue with this is four months prior to that email exchange, Kavalec found Christopher Steele to be non-credible due to “factual inaccuracies” that he had given to her in October 2016.

On May 23, 2016 Department of Justice prosecutor Lisa Holtyn emailed Bruce Ohr asking to connect her along with other prosecutors to his wife, Nellie Ohr. Holtyn said that Nellie could be a “great resource” for them. Bruce Ohr responded to the email saying, “I’m sure Nellie would be delighted to speak with them. I’m pretty sure there is no conflict of interest since they aren’t paying her or anything like that.

This email exchange prompted Congressman Mark Meadows to pen a referral to Attorney General Bill Barr. The letter outlined Meadows’ concern with Nellie Orh’s testimony to Congress on October 19, 2018. Meadows wrote,

“Ms. Ohr testified that 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.”

This new set of documents helped confirm Judicial Watch’s previous uncovering of DOJ records; relating to the communication between Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele after Steele was terminated by the FBI. In March of 2019, Judicial Watch published 339 pages of redacted records from the Department of Justice including emails and phone records from Bruce Ohr.

In one email sent on July 30, 2016, Steele sent his thanks to Bruce and Nellie Ohr for meeting up with him.

“Great to see you and Nellie this morning Bruce. Let’s keep in touch on the substantive issues/s. Glenn is happy to speak to you on this if it would help. Best, Chris.” (s. Glenn is referring to Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson)

In another email exchange on September 16, 2016, Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele started a plan to meet in the Capital Hilton. The emails stated,

” STEELE: Dear Bruce, I hope you are well. I am probably going to visit Washington again in the next couple of weeks on business of mutual interest. I would like to see you again in person and therefore coordinate diaries. So when are you planning to be in town please? Thanks and Best, Chris. P.S. I don’t think I have up to date cell or landline phone numbers for you. Grateful if you could send me them.

OHR: Hi Chris–It would be great to see you in DC. I’ll be out of town Sept 19-21 but should be here the rest of the time. My numbers are office 202 307 2510 and cell [redacted] Let me know what works best for you.

The exchange goes on to show the two men collaborating on the best time to meet up and then agreeing to the particular time and place.

On December 8, 2016, Bruce Ohr’s phone records showed that he called Glenn Simpson to meet, “tomorrow at 3.”

On December 13, 2016, Ohr’s phone records revealed he spoke with Glenn Simpson the day prior and received “some more news”. Records for that day also listed “Rod Rosenstein 5:48 pm.”

The documents also revealed a group on encrypted text messages from January 2017 to November 2017. The messages between Ohr and Steele discussed new ways to get information to the FBI were Ohr to leave; and affirmation that Ohr had shared information with his “colleagues.”

On January 31, 2017, Ohr and Steele exchanged messages regarding then recently fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates.

” STEELE: B, doubtless a sad and crazy day for you re-SY (Sally Yates). Just wanted to check you are OK, still in situ and able to help locally as discussed, along with your Bureau colleagues, with our guy if the need arises? Many Thanks and Best as Always, C

OHR: Yes, a crazy day. I’m still here and able to help as discussed. I’ll let you know if that Changes. Thanks!

STEELE: Thanks. You have my sympathy and support. If you end up out though. I really need another (Bureau?) contact point/number who is briefed. We can’t allow our guy to be forced to go back home. It would be disastrous all round, though his position right now looks stable. A million thanks. C

OHR: Understood. I can certainly give you an FBI contact if it becomes necessary.”

On March 7, 2017, Ohr and Steele traded messages regarding Senator Chuck Grassely. The previous day Senator Grassely had written a letter to then FBI Director James Comey regarding the FBI’s knowledge of Christopher Steele working for a firm connected to Hillary Clinton.

“STEELE: Would it be possible to speak later today please? We’re very concerned by the Grassley letter and it’s possible implications for our operations and our sources. We need some reassurance. Many thanks

OHR: Sure Would 1:30 today, DC time, work?

STEELE: Yes thanks it would…. I know you’ll appreciate why we are concerned.

OHR: Of course.

OHR: My Skype app is acting up. Can we use the Whatapp [sic] voice call?

OHR: I think my skype is working now if you want to call me.

STEELE: Thanks for that, old friend. Please do fight our cause and keep in touch. Really fundamental issues a stake here. Very Best

OHR: Likewise, hang in there!”

On March 18, 2017, Ohr and Steele exchanged messages that showed they were “apprehensive” of James Comey’s upcoming testimony to Congress on March 20, 2017.

“STEELE: Hi! Just Wondering if you had any news? Obviously we’re a bit apprehensive given Comey’s scheduled appearance at Congress on Monday. Hoping that important firewalls will hold. Many thanks,

OHR: Sorry, no new news. I believe my earlier information is still accurate. I will let you know immediately if there is any change.”

On March 24, 2017, Ohr and Steele started discussing their “response” to Comey’s Congressional testimony.

“STEELE: Hi Bruce, … we understand an approach from the Senate Intelligence Committee to us is imminent. I would like to discuss this and our response with you in the next couple of days if possible. Please let me know when might suit? Many thanks and Best, Chris

OHR: We can chat this weekend if you are available. Would sometime on Sunday work for you? I’m pretty open.

STEELE: Thanks Bruce. Let’s speak on Sunday eve UK time, maybe 1400 or 1500 EST if that works for you? BEST

OHR: 1400 east coast time on Sunday will work. Thanks and talk with you then.”

On July 16, 2017, Ohr agrees to Steele’s request to pass along information.

“STEELE: Hi Bruce, hope you’re enjoying the summer. [Redacted] Please pass this on as appropriate. Crazy week over there just past! Best, Chris

OHR: Hi Chris, it’s good to hear from you. Hope all is well. I will pass this along to my colleagues. Thanks!”

On October 26, 2017, Steele told Ohr that he was “very concerned” regarding the FBI giving documents to Congress connecting him to the FBI.

“STEELE: Hi Bruce. Can we have a word tomorrow please? Just Seen a story in the media about the Bureau handing over docs to Congress about my work and relationship with them. Very concerned about this. Peoples live may be engangered [sic]. [Redacted] Thanks, Chris”

On October 30, 2017, Steele messaged Ohr, telling him that he had talked to Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson about information that he discussed in the previous days with Ohr.

“STEELE: Bruce, having spoken with Glenn in London today. I now understand and appreciate what you were talking about on Saturday. Love and Best Wishes to you, Nellie and all the family.”

On November 18, 2017, Ohr and Steele discuss the intensified pressure they are feeling, due to not knowing exactly what Congress has seen about their interactions.

“STEELE: Dear Bruce, I hope you and the family are well. It’s been another tough week here under the media spotlight and with legal pressures bearing down on us. I am presuming [redacted]. Also,, we remain in the dark as to what has been briefed to Congress about us, our assets and previous work. I know you understand the importance of all this and have done your very best to support us, but we would be grateful if you could continue to [Redacted]. Sincere thanks for everything you are doing and I hope to speak to you again soon. Best, Chris

Ohr: Chris, thanks for reaching out. I understand the difficulties and uncertainty you are experiencing. I [redacted]. Let plan to talk early in the week – Bruce

STEELE: Hi Bruce, is there any chance we could have a catch-up WhatsApp call this eve GMT maybe around 1500 with you? Otherwise tomorrow eve GMT? Many thanks, Chris

OHR: Chris – I have a meeting ending at 1500 today that might spill over a few minutes would 1515 work for you?

STEELE: Yes, of course. C

OHR: I will call you then.”

The FBI 302s also revealed:

  • On November 22, 2016, Bruce Ohr told the FBI, “reporting on Trump’s ties to Russia were going to the Clinton Campaign, Jon Winer at the U.S. State Department and the FBI.”
  • In September 2016, Ohr described, who’s believed to be Christopher Steele, as “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and as passionate about him not being the U.S President.”
  • “Ohr knew that Glenn Simpson and others talking to Victoria Nuland at the U.S. State Department.”
  • On December 12, 2016, Simpson gave Ohr a thumb drive with Fusion GPS research on it. Ohr claimed that he did not know what was on the thumb drive.
  • On December 20, 2016, Ohr gave the FBI, “the totality” his wife’s Fusion GPS research, “but the Fusion GPS header was stripped.”
  • On January 23, 2017, Ohr told the FBI that Steele, “spoke with a staff member of Senator John McCain’s office sometime prior to October 2016.”
  • On February 2, 2017, the FBI tells Ohr to see if Steele would be “comfortable getting the name of an FBI agent” as a contact. Ohr informs the FBI that State Department official Kathleen Kavalec talked to “Steele several times prior to the U.S. Presidential election and believed Steele’s reporting to have generated from mainly [Redacted].
  • On May 3, 2017, Steele called Ohr to tell him that he “had been worried about Director Comey’s testimony to congress, especially his response to questions that would be raised by Grassley.” Steele however was, “happy with Director Comey’s response.”
  • On May 12, 2017, Steele called Ohr to discuss a letter that was sent to Ohr from the Senate Intelligence Committee. According to Ohr the letter asked:
    • Had Steele provided information to the US Government?
    • What was the scope of Steele’s investigation?
    • Did Steele have any additional information to provide?
  • In May 2017, the FBI asked Ohr to ask “Steele if he would be willing to have a conversation with FBI agents in the UK.” Steele responded affirmatively, but had to check with someone who was redacted.

Judicial Watch also published documents showing, “Ohr was given a performance award of $28,000 on November 13, 2016. This was during the time of his deep involvement in the highly controversial Justice Department surveillance of the Trump presidential campaign. The bonus was nearly double the $14,250 performance award he was given on November 29, 2015.

On December 6, 2017, Ohr was removed from his position as Associate Deputy Attorney General and was reassigned to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. He has since be reassigned again, this time to Counselor for International Affairs in the Department of Justice Criminal Division.

To summarize, Bruce Ohr, who had conflicts of interest regarding his wife, had no problem sharing her research along with information given to him by fired FBI informant, Christopher Steele, to the DOJ and FBI. Even though he was aware of the issues surrounding what he was doing, he did not protest. Ohr was also complacent in allowing his wife to cover their tracks and delete emails from his DOJ account. Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch maybe lays it out best by stating,

“These new Bruce Ohr FBI 302s show an unprecedented and irregular effort by the FBI, DOJ, and State Department to dig up dirt on President Trump using the conflicted Bruce Ohr, his wife, and Clinton/DNC spies at Fusion GPS. The FISA courts weren’t informed of this corrupted process when they were asked to approve and reapprove extraordinary spy warrants targeting President Trump.”

Sources:

Author: 777 Media Source