by WorldTribune Staff, March 10, 2019
Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr, in congressional testimony, said he was given two thumb drives by Fusion GPS containing opposition research on candidate Donald Trump which Ohr delivered to the DOJ, one before and one after the 2016 presidential election.
Along with his role in delivering the thumb drives, Ohr told a joint House Judiciary-Oversight committee that he had warned the FBI that Fusion GPS was tied to Hillary Clinton and that the FBI needed to verify the “hearsay.”
“So when I provided it to the FBI, I tried to be clear that this is source information,” Ohr testified. “I don’t know how reliable it is. You’re going to have to check it out and be aware. These guys were hired by somebody relating to – who’s related to the Clinton campaign, and be aware – you know, they were somehow working associated with the Clinton campaign.”
A transcript of Ohr’s closed-door testimony last year, was released on March 8 by Rep. Doug Collins, Georgia Republican and the ranking House Judiciary Committee member.
Ohr’s wife, Nellie, a Russia expert at Fusion GPS, provided the first thumb drive which Bruce Ohr gave the DOJ prior to the election. GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson gave Bruce Ohr the second thumb drive, which he handed over to the DOJ one month after the election.
Fusion GPS, with money from the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, hired ex-British spy Christopher Steele to compile the anti-Trump dossier.
“Ohr’s testimony adds to the picture of wide access Simpson, a Hillary Clinton opposition researcher, gained to the upper levels of DOJ and the FBI,” Rowan Scarborough noted in a March 8 report for The Washington Times.
The testimony also “shows that a steady flow of information from Fusion was reaching the FBI at a time when it was making critical decisions pursuing Trump aides,” Scarborough noted.
In warrant applications in its pursuit of those Trump aides, the FBI did not disclose the Clinton connection to the dossier. Instead, agents included a footnote that said the bureau “speculates” that Steele, identified as “source #1,” “was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1 campaign.”
The FBI relied on the dossier at key times, such as using it to convince a judge to let agents wiretap Carter Page, a Trump volunteer, for a year.
Scarborough noted that “Ohr began his self-appointed conduit role by meeting in July 2016 with then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and his counsel, Lisa Page. McCabe, fired for allegedly lying during an inspector general investigation, doesn’t mention Ohr or the dossier in his memoir.”
Ohr met with Simpson in August and again after the election. He met with Steele in July and continued talking for over a year via WhatsApp, Skype and phone calls, the testimony shows.
Ohr said he also conveyed Fusion GPS material to FBI agent Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
“I wanted to get the information, whatever information they had. I wanted to get it to the FBI, and I wanted to try to create the situation for people like Glenn Simpson to talk to the FBI,” Ohr testified.