Details from the transcript of DOJ official Bruce Ohr’s testimony before Congress last August were obtained by The Epoch Times this week and indicate that he met with British spy and dossier author Christopher Steele on July 30, 2016. Ohr, who served as the Associate Deputy Attorney General at the time, testified that he immediately briefed then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and FBI lawyer Lisa Page about it, and specifically informed them that it was opposition research connected to the Clinton campaign and that Steele harbored intensely strong feelings against Trump.
It is no coincidence that the FBI opened their counter-intelligence investigation, known as Crossfire Hurricane, the next day, July 31st. (Many FBI officials claim the investigation was triggered when the FBI was notified of low-level Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos’ conversation with former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer.) The significance of this new information is that many DOJ and FBI officials have testified they lacked knowledge of the document’s origins as they submitted their October 2016 application for a warrant to spy on another Trump foreign policy advisor, Carter Page.
Ohr testified that he briefed FBI official Peter Strzok about the dossier in August, although given Strzok’s relationship with Lisa Page, it’s likely he already knew about it. He also brief Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz, lawyer Zainab Ahmad and fraud unit head Andrew Weissman. Both Ahmad and Weissman are members of Mueller’s investigation team. Ohr testified:
When I provided [the Steele information] to the FBI, I tried to be clear that this is source information. 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.
This is game-changing information. Up until this week, many officials have provided Congressional testimony and have continued to claim they had no idea the dossier was connected to the Clinton campaign.
Last February, many Democrats, led by the repellent Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), vigorously denied the veracity of the “Nunes Memo.” This document accused the FBI of lying about how heavily they had relied upon the dossier in their application to the FISA Court for a warrant to spy on Page. It also called out the conspicuous omissions of who had funded it and that Ohr’s wife had been hired by Fusion GPS to help prepare it. The memo was prepared by then-Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-CA).
This week’s revelation also puts to the lie the Democrat’s response (the Minority report) which had been prepared by Schiff. This report claimed that Ohr had not met with the FBI, had not disclosed his wife’s connection to the dossier and had not mentioned Steele’s hatred for Trump until after the election.
Democrats have maintained they were not aware of Clinton’s involvement.
The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel wrote:
The testimony raises new concerns about Mr. Mueller’s team. Critics have noted Mr. Weissman’s donations to Mrs. Clinton and his unseemly support of former acting Attorney General Sally Yates’s obstruction of Trump orders. It now turns out that senior Mueller players were central to the dossier scandal. The conflicts of interest boggle the mind.
The Ohr testimony is evidence the FBI itself knows how seriously it erred. The FBI has been hiding and twisting facts from the start.
The Hill’s John Solomon, who has closely followed this story, said “the FBI claimed it was “unaware of any derogatory information” about Steele, that Steele was “never advised … as to the motivation behind the research” but that the FBI “speculates” that those who hired Steele were “likely looking for information to discredit” Trump’s campaign.”
It’s often said in law enforcement, there are 100 ways to get caught for a crime and although you might think of 99 of them, the one you forgot will expose you.
In this case, FBI and DOJ officials would have been wise to get their stories straight beforehand, because the revelation of Bruce Ohr’s testimony last August just blew a Grand Canyon-sized blow to their narrative. Because of Nunes’ pursuit of the facts last year, and his fight for the declassification of the FBI’s application last summer, we know that the dossier formed the basis of their FISA Court application. The Washington Times’ Rowan Scarborough calls it the central piece of evidence. Although the document was heavily redacted, we were able to determine that without the dossier, the Court would never have issued the warrant.
Trump needs to release an unredacted copy of the application along with the other documents repeatedly requested by House investigators which DOJ and FBI leaders refused to provide.
Their obstruction has made the search for the truth an especially frustrating exercise for Republican investigators. For all of us. The moments of discovery in this case have come ever so slowly. But each new piece of information we uncover advances President Trump’s position while it diminishes the credibility of those Obama administration FBI/DOJ officials who perpetrated this farce.
It is essential for the entire truth to be revealed. Safeguards must be put in place to prevent a similar plot from happening again. Americans must remain vigilant because the treason we have witnessed for the last two and a half years has the power to destroy America.
Ben Franklin was once asked what he believed was the meaning of the U.S. Constitution. Franklin replied, “It means that we have a republic…if we can keep it.”