Yeah, the Department of Justice has seen better days. Over the past few weeks, there have been multiple reports about the conduct of some DOJ officials. Katie listed them in a previous post: an FBI agent was removed from the special counsel investigation into President Trump’s possible collusion with Russia for sending pro-Hillary and anti-Trump texts to an attorney within the Bureau with whom he was having an affair. The unverified dossier, spearheaded by Fusion GPS, first began as an opposition research project by The Washington Free Beacon. It centered on multiple GOP candidates, no information came from sources inside the Kremlin, and all the sources were public. None of the information Fusion gave to the Free Beacon was in the dossier. Once the Free Beacon dropped Fusion and this project, the Democrats under Marc Elias of Perkins Coie hired Fusion who summoned the services of former MI6 Christopher Steele to compile the now-infamous dossier. Elias was an attorney with the Hillary Clinton campaign. The Democrats only funded Steele—and he was the one who got information from sources inside Russia.
Bruce G. Ohr held two titles at DOJ: associate deputy attorney general, a post that placed him four doors down from his boss, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; and director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), a program described by the department as “the centerpiece of the attorney general’s drug strategy.”
Ohr will retain his OCDETF title but has been stripped of his higher post and ousted from his office on the fourth floor of “Main Justice.”
Initially senior department officials could not provide the reason for Ohr’s demotion, but Fox News has learned that evidence collected by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., indicates that Ohr met during the 2016 campaign with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the “dossier."
Now, James Rosen of Fox News reports that Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 election.
A senior Justice Department official demoted last week for concealing his meetings with the men behind the anti-Trump “dossier” had even closer ties to Fusion GPS, the firm responsible for the incendiary document, than have been disclosed, Fox News has confirmed: The official’s wife worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 election.
Contacted by Fox News, investigators for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) confirmed that Nellie H. Ohr, wife of the demoted official, Bruce G. Ohr, worked for the opposition research firm last year. The precise nature of Mrs. Ohr’s duties – including whether she worked on the dossier – remains unclear but a review of her published works available online reveals Mrs. Ohr has written extensively on Russia-related subjects. HPSCI staff confirmed to Fox News that she was paid by Fusion GPS through the summer and fall of 2016.
Fusion GPS has attracted scrutiny because Republican lawmakers have spent the better part of this year investigating whether the dossier, which was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, served as the basis for the Justice Department and the FBI to obtain FISA surveillance last year on a Trump campaign adviser named Carter Page.
Former FBI Director James Comey has described the dossier as a compendium of “salacious and unverified” allegations about then-candidate Donald Trump and his associates, including Page, a foreign policy adviser. The dossier was provided to the FBI in July 2016, shortly before then-candidate Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination. As Comey later testified, it was in that same month that the FBI began a counterintelligence probe of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
And these aren’t small actors we’re talking about here, which is why The Wall Street Journal editorial board said Specula Counsel Robert Mueller should step down, especially after the FBI agent-FBI attorney affair fiasco was made public:
The Washington Post and the New York Times reported Saturday that a lead FBI investigator on the Mueller probe, Peter Strzok, was demoted this summer after it was discovered he’d sent anti- Trump texts to a mistress. As troubling, Mr. Mueller and the Justice Department kept this information from House investigators, despite Intelligence Committee subpoenas that would have exposed those texts. They also refused to answer questions about Mr. Strzok’s dismissal and refused to make him available for an interview.
The news about Mr. Strzok leaked only when the Justice Department concluded it couldn’t hold out any longer, and the stories were full of spin that praised Mr. Mueller for acting “swiftly” to remove the agent. Only after these stories ran did Justice agree on Saturday to make Mr. Strzok available to the House.
This is all the more notable because Mr. Strzok was a chief lieutenant to former FBI Director James Comey and played a lead role investigating alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Mr. Mueller then gave him a top role in his special-counsel probe. And before all this Mr. Strzok led the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails and sat in on the interview she gave to the FBI shortly before Mr. Comey publicly exonerated her in violation of Justice Department practice.
Oh, and the woman with whom he supposedly exchanged anti-Trump texts, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, worked for both Mr. Mueller and deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, who was accused of a conflict of interest in the Clinton probe when it came out that Clinton allies had donated to the political campaign of Mr. McCabe’s wife.
Yeah, this is becoming quite the spectacle.