FoxNews.com reports that
Embattled Justice Department official Bruce Ohr had contact in 2016 with then-colleague Andrew Weissmann, who is now a top Robert Mueller deputy, as well as other senior FBI officials about the controversial anti-Trump dossier and the individuals behind it, two sources close to the matter told Fox News.
The sources said Ohr’s outreach about the dossier – as well as its author, ex-British spy Christopher Steele; the opposition research firm behind it, Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS; and his wife Nellie Ohr’s work for Fusion – occurred before and after the FBI fired Steele as a source over his media contacts. Ohr’s network of contacts on the dossier included: former FBI agent Peter Strzok; former FBI lawyer Lisa Page; former deputy director Andrew McCabe; Weissmann and at least one other DOJ official; and a current FBI agent who worked with Strzok on the Russia case.
Weissmann was kept “in the loop” on the dossier, a source said, while he was chief of the criminal fraud division. He is now assigned to Special Counsel Mueller’s team.
The list includes several figures who have since attracted the scorn of President Trump as he decries the Russia probe and those involved in its early stages. Trump has been particularly tough on Ohr, given his wife Nellie’s past work for Fusion GPS, as the president alleges bias against him inside the department. Just Thursday morning, Trump complained on Twitter about Nellie Ohr’s Fusion work and exclaimed, “Bruce was a boss at the Department of Justice and is, unbelievably, still there!”
Ohr’s broad circle of contacts indicates members of FBI leadership knew about his backchannel activities regarding the dossier and Steele.
Congressional Republicans are still trying to get to the bottom of Ohr’s role in circulating the unverified dossier, which became a critical piece of evidence in obtaining a surveillance warrant for then-Trump campaign aide Carter Page in October 2016. Ohr was grilled by House committees behind closed doors for seven hours earlier this week.
A Republican-authored House Intelligence Committee memo released in February said that Steele “maintained contact” with Ohr “before and after” the government fired the ex-British spy as a source. “Shortly after the election, the FBI began interviewing Ohr, documenting his communications with Steele,” the memo said. “For example, 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.'”
In addition, Ohr’s handwritten notes, reviewed by Fox News, showed that two weeks after the election, on Nov. 21, he made a list including Page, Strzok and the FBI agent – which may have been a reference to a meeting. “No [prosecution] yet. Push case ahead on M. May go back to Chris,” he wrote. Congressional investigators told Fox News they believe the “M” likely refers to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who recently was convicted on tax and bank fraud charges in Virginia, and the “Chris” is Christopher Steele.
That same month, Steele was fired by the FBI as a confidential source over his contact with the media about the dossier.
According to court records, an FBI memo also states that Weissmann met as early as April 2017 with a group of reporters about Manafort. The timing appears significant, coming one month before FBI Director James Comey was fired and Mueller was appointed to lead the special counsel team.
Republican lawmakers who questioned Ohr earlier this week say the connections between Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie, who did Russia research for the opposition research firm behind the dossier, were known.
Christopher Steele was a very busy man. It seems like everyone in the Obama Administration wanted to talk to him.
Fox News reported that an Obama State Department official had regular contact with the author of the anti-Trump dossier.
In a Washington Post column posted late Thursday, Jonathan Winer detailed an extensive exchange of documents with ex-British spy Christopher Steele, a friend of his since 2009.
He said he shared “more than 100 of Steele’s reports with the Russia experts at the State Department” over a period of two years. These weren’t related to American politics – but he would later share information about the Trump dossier with the top levels of the Obama-era State Department.
Further, Winer said he shared separate Trump-related material passed on by a Clinton contact with Steele – filling in the blanks regarding an exchange that was mentioned earlier this week in a Senate memo. And he acknowledged that material, originally from Clinton-tied activist/journalist Cody Shearer, made its way to the FBI.
“Given that I had not worked with Shearer and knew that he was not a professional intelligence officer, I did not mention or share his notes with anyone at the State Department. I did not expect them to be shared with anyone in the U.S. government,” wrote Winer, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state and former Libya special envoy. “But I learned later that Steele did share them — with the FBI, after the FBI asked him to provide everything he had on allegations relating to Trump, his campaign and Russian interference in U.S. elections.”
What the article above does not explore is the fact that a second dossier was prepared by the above-mentioned Cody Shearer and Richard Blumenthal.
According to Judicial Watch…
Blumenthal and Shearer are connected to a global network of intelligence and military freelancers. They played a dangerous game meddling in Libyan affairs after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. They supplied intelligence to Secretary of State Clinton in the weeks leading up to the Benghazi debacle and pitched deals to make money off the Libyan turmoil. ProPublica reports at length on the Blumenthal and Shearer’s Libyan efforts here. According to Judicial Watch’s reporting, during Mrs. Clinton’s State Department tenure, Blumenthal also promoted African business deals and meddled in European Union elections.
As for Shearer, he has a long history of dirty tricks. He’s been linked to Whitewater-era efforts to dirty up Bill Clinton critics; to shakedown politics involving the Cheyenne-Arapaho Indian tribe; and to fronting for Bosnian Serb butcher Radovan Karadzic.
The Guardian reports that the new Shearer document makes some of the same allegations about Mr. Trump as the original Christopher Steele dossier, including “lewd acts at a five-star hotel” in Moscow. It also notes that Steele passed on the Shearer report to the FBI in October 2016, but would not vouch for its accuracy. That’s worth pausing over.
According to the Guardian, Steele provided “a copy [of the Shearer report] because it corresponded with what he had separately heard from his own independent sources.” If the reporting here is accurate, that’s quite a coincidence—that Cody Shearer and Christopher Steele were hearing the same things from different sources at pretty much the same time. A closer look at timelines and sources might be revealing. If Sid and Cody are behind the original Russian dossier sources, that would be big news indeed.
I do not doubt at all that Bruce Ohr was familiar with that second dossier.
I have written before as to how intricate and strategically planned this whole effort to sabotage the Trump Candidacy and now, the Trump Presidency actually is.
The scope of the players is both fascinating and horrifying at the same time.
The professional bureaucrats in the Department of Justice and the FBI who are involved had worked in the Halls of Power for several years.
It is frightening to believe that they were actually able to justify their covert operations against the will of the American People as being “for the good of the country”…and the Washingtonian Status Quo.
The more time that passes and the more details that come out, firmly convinces me that this is the biggest Federal Government Scandal in history.
Watergate was a fight between kids in a sandbox compared to this convoluted catastrophe.
The sooner this whole mess is wrapped up and the guilty swamp creatures are exiled from the D.C. swamp, the better off this country will be.
As I have said so many times, it was average Americans who were responsible for Donald J. Trump becoming the 45th President of the United States of America. Not the Russians, not “special interest groups,” and not the aliens in that awful movie “Mars Attacks!”
Hey, maybe if we got a couple of huge huge P.A. Systems and placed one outside the DOJ and FBI Buildings, playing Slim Whitman Songs, America could have a happy ending to this sordid tale, just like in the awful movie I just mentioned.
As silly as this whole Temper Tantrum-conceived bunch of Democrat-driven “Lawfare” has gotten, it’s worth trying.
Until He Comes,