by WorldTribune Staff, August 3, 2018
The chairmen of the Senate Judiciary and House Intelligence committees say the Department of Justice continues to stonewall on documents said to show that a DOJ official continued to feed information from Christopher Steele to the FBI after Steele, author of the unverified Trump dossier, was fired by the agency.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, Iowa Republican, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, California Republican, said the DOJ since last year has refused to turn over interviews the FBI conducted with former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr related to Steele and the Hillary Clinton/Democratic National Committee-funded dossier.
“Ohr was one of the top officials at DOJ and they told the court they had terminated Steele, but Ohr was continuing to meet with Steele despite his termination and then (he was) feeding the information to the FBI,” Nunes said, according to a report by investigative journalist Sara Carter.
“It is completely appropriate for Grassley to ask for these documents to be declassified,” Nunes said.
Lawmakers told SaraACarter.com that the interview documents (known as 302s) should be declassified because they believe it will reveal the extent of Ohr’s involvement with Fusion GPS, his relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS owner Glenn Simpson, and his communications with FBI officials investigating Trump’s campaign.
Carter’s report noted that Grassley and a limited number of committee members were given “in camera” access to review some of the documents in question, meaning they could not take notes or receive copies of the documents that the DOJ stamped “SECRET.”
In a July letter to Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, Grassley said “the Department’s insistence on limiting access to these documents creates unnecessary complications and burdens on the Committee’s oversight work. Relying solely on memory of the documents or scheduling trips to the Justice Department for additional reviews is a poor substitute for possession of actual copies. It thwarts the Committee’s ability to conduct a thorough analysis, compare the contents with other information, and take investigative steps to pursue related information.”
In February, President Donald Trump declassified a House Intelligence Committee memo which revealed information about Ohr and his FBI interviews.
The memo showed that, after he was fired by the FBI, Steele maintained contact with Ohr. It also revealed that Ohr, who also worked closely at the time with Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and later with now-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, told the FBI during his interviews that Steele “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”
The memo also showed that Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS in 2016 to “assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump.” Fusion GPS told CNN in December 2017 that Nellie Ohr was a “widely-recognized” scholar on Russia and that she speaks fluent Russian.
Anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok, in July testimony before the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees, said that Bruce Ohr gave extensive material to the FBI regarding the Steele dossier.