Back in August, the lead FBI agent on the Mueller investigation, a guy named Peter Strzok, was removed from that duty. Shortly afterwards he was demoted from his position as deputy FBI director for counterintelligence and bundled off to Human Resources (see my posts here | here | here | here | here)
What makes his case so interesting is not the fact that he was allegedly canned from Mueller’s team for sending anti-Trump/pro-Clinton texts to his paramour, an FBI lawyer who worked for Andrew McCabe and who was also on the Mueller team. Let’s face it, no sane person believes that. You have Andrew Weissmann who sent a fawning email to Sally Yates over her refusal to obey the law and defend Trump’s first “travel ban” and you have Jeanine Rhee, who gave $16K to Clinton/Obama/DNC and was Ben Rhodes’s personal attorney and who represented the Clinton Foundation, as prosecutors on Mueller’s team. No, what makes Strzok so interesting is that he’s the guy who, as head of counterintelligence, received the Trump dossier, passed it about the intelligence community, vouched for it, and who saw that it’s author, Christopher Steele, got paid more money to do more of the same “research.” He’s also the guy who would have signed off on the decision to get FISA warrants on members of the campaign of a candidate for president and the members of a president-elect’s transition team.
Today we find that the dossier has claimed another victim:
A senior Justice Department official was demoted this week amid an ongoing investigation into his contacts with the opposition research firm responsible for the anti-Trump “dossier,” the department confirmed to Fox News.
Until Wednesday morning, 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.”
This is the interesting part:
According to congressional sources, Simpson and Ohr met sometime around Thanksgiving last year, when President-elect Trump was in the process of selecting his cabinet, and discussed over coffee the anti-Trump dossier, the Russia investigation and what Simpson considered the distressing development of Trump’s victory.
How exactly Simpson and Ohr came to know each other is still being investigated, but initial evidence collected by the House intelligence committee suggests that the two were placed in touch by Steele, a former FBI informant whose contacts with Ohr are said by senior DOJ officials to date back to 2006.
It is hard to come up with a good reason that an associate deputy attorney general (whose boss would have been Sally Yates) would meet with the head of the opposition research firm responsible for the Trump dossier. That the head of Fusion GPS felt comfortable crying on Ohr’s shoulder about Trump’s win tells you all you need to know about Ohr’s politics. Given the volume of leaks that seem to gush from Justice in the early weeks of the Trump administration, it would not be a stretch to think that Ohr was passing information on to Fusion GPS so they could get it into the media.
How was Ohr found out? We don’t know. But we can guess from this that there is a substantial investigation going on inside of Justice even as we speak and the handling of the Trump dossier is of considerable interest:
I also suspect that Ohr will be far from the last head to go bouncing down the stairs at Department of Justice.