Oh, So The Firm Behind The Steele Dossier Also Investigated Trump's Kids As Well

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Posted: Jan 31, 2019 3:05 PM
Oh, So The Firm Behind The Steele Dossier Also Investigated Trump's Kids As Well

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Well, this is a blast from the past. Remember Fusion GPS, which was retained by the Clinton campaign to get dirt on Trump during the 2016 election? The firm which, after being retained, solicited the services of ex-MI6 spook Christopher Steele who compiled the infamous and mostly unverified Trump dossier, which may or may not have been the primary piece of evidence to obtain spy warrants against members of Trump’s campaign staff? Whatever the case, this firm is back in the news. This time it’s over the development that it investigated President Trump’s kids as well (via Daily Caller):

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for Fusion GPS, also told lawmakers during an Oct. 19 deposition that she recalls that Christopher Steele gave her husband, Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, materials from the infamous anti-Trump dossier funded by Democrats.

Ohr said during the testimony that Steele, who like her was a contractor for Fusion GPS, hoped that her husband would pass the materials to the FBI.

“My understanding was that Chris Steele was hoping that Bruce could put in a word with the FBI to follow up in some way,” Ohr testified to members of the House Oversight and House Judiciary Committees, according to transcripts confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

[…]

Ohr, a trained Russian linguist, also detailed some of the topics she worked on for Fusion GPS, which was hired by the law firm that represented the Clinton campaign and DNC to investigate Trump.

One area of focus was Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s two oldest children.

“But in terms of actually performing research, did you begin to break out President Trump’s family in terms of Melania Trump, all of his children? Were you doing independent research based off of each family member?” one lawmaker asked Ohr.

“I did some,” Ohr said. “As I recall, I did some research on all of them, but not into much depth.”

[…]

The goal was “to see whether they were involved in dealings and transactions with people who had had suspicious pasts.”

Nellie Ohr also testified that she investigated any links between Russian oligarchs and the Trump real estate empire.

It is unclear whether Ohr shared any information that she gathered working for Fusion GPS with her husband, who served as associate deputy attorney general until he was reassigned in December 2017. There is also no indication that Ohr’s research of the Trump children wound up in the dossier, which the FBI used to obtain surveillance warrants against Carter Page.

It’s part of a long-standing saga about this whole project. Again, was it used to obtain a spy warrant against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page? The answers elude Congress. 

Fusion GPS crossed paths with the FBI since Nellie Ohr is married to demoted FBI official Bruce Ohr, who met with Steele and didn’t disclose those meetings. Ohr’s ties to Fusion were revealed to be closer, as Nellie worked on the dossier during the 2016 election.

Ohr was associate deputy attorney general and director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). He was demoted for not disclosing this rendezvous. He also didn’t disclose in his financial disclosure form that his wife worked for Fusion GPS. 

And the FBI itself has seen better days. You have this Fusion-Ohr mess, along with former FBI agent Peter Strzok and bureau lawyer Lisa Page exchanging tens of thousands of texts during the 2016 election, all of which were anti-Trump. It wouldn’t be a big deal if Strzok weren't a top counterintelligence officer at the time, who was part of both the investigation into Russian collusion, which is now being handled by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He was also a key point person in the Hillary Clinton email probe, two of the most sensitive and politically charged investigations the bureau has conducted in recent memory. 

On that latter investigation, Strzok and Page were worried that the FBI was going too hard on Hillary. Strzok was reportedly told about possible breaches in Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized and unsecured server but did nothing about it. The Page-Strzok saga was also another months-long deep dive. Strzok was engaged in an extramarital affair with Page and spoke of an insurance policy against Trump during a meeting with former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe on August 15, 2016. What’s the insurance policy? Well, it’s been alleged that it’s the Trump dossier compiled by Fusion and Christopher Steele. Later texts revealed Strzok speaking to Page about stopping Donald from becoming president. Strzok was later dragged up onto the Hill to explain his unprofessional conduct, which he described as evidence of his patriotism. Page, who resigned from the FBI in May of 2018, said the anti-Trump texts sent between them meant exactly what they said. Strzok was fired last year over the texts.

The Democrats and their allies in the media obsess over Russian collusion and election meddling by the Kremlin, though some serious meddling, or discussions of it, appear to have occurred much closer to home.