The Hill’s John Solomon just dropped a bombshell report that is killer to the FBI.
The report makes clear that then-No. 4 Department of Justice (DOJ) official Bruce Ohr explicitly briefed senior FBI and DOJ officials and ward that the dossier from Christopher Steele was opposition research from the Clinton campaign and could be biased.
Ohr’s briefings, in July and August 2016, included the deputy director of the FBI, a top lawyer for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and a Justice official who later would become the top deputy to special counsel Robert Mueller.
At the time, Ohr was the associate attorney general. Yet his warnings about political bias were pointedly omitted weeks later from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant that the FBI obtained from a federal court, granting it permission to spy on whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to hijack the 2016 presidential election.
The dossier which was the key piece of evidence for the FISA warrants against Trump adviser Carter Page and they never told the court it was opposition research paid for by the Clinton team.
Instead they just claimed to the Court that Steele was a reliable source who they had used in the past without revealing he had been in the pay of the Democrats through cut-outs.
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.
Yet, in testimony last summer to congressional investigators, Ohr revealed the FBI and Justice lawyers had no need to speculate: He explicitly warned them in a series of contacts, beginning July 31, 2016, that Steele expressed biased against Trump and was working on a project connected to the Clinton campaign.
Ohr had firsthand knowledge about the motive and the client: He had just met with Steele on July 30, 2016, and Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS, the same firm employing Steele.
“I certainly told the FBI that Fusion GPS was working with, doing opposition research on Donald Trump,” Ohr told congressional investigators, adding that he warned the FBI that Steele expressed bias during their conversations.
“I provided information to the FBI when I thought Christopher Steele was, as I said, desperate that Trump not be elected,” he added. “So, yes, of course I provided that to the FBI.”
Steele himself specifically testified in the Buzzfeed case that he had been hired to find things to challenge the 2016 election for the Democrats.
So yes, he knew too the purpose was to help influence the election. And the information which was never verified allegedly came from Russians.
So isn’t this the sort of thing that Mueller is supposed to be investigating? That Democrats keep accusing the Trump team of (without evidence)?
Perkins Coie, the firm hired by the DNC and the Clinton campaign, to pay for all this through Fusion GPS disguised the payments as “legal research” when it was opposition research.
What was that Democrats were recently saying about campaign finance violations and disguising payments?
Once again, another incident where Democrats appear to have done something of which they accuse the Trump team.
Ohr advised them of these from the very start of the investigation on July 31, 2016, once again showing the importance of that date and the importance of the dossier to the FBI investigation. He also advised Peter Strzok, according to the report.
He also advised DOJ officials including Andrew Weissmann, then the head of DOJ’s fraud section; Bruce Swartz, longtime head of DOJ’s international operations, and Zainab Ahmad, who was assigned to work with Lynch as a senior counselor.
Ahmad and Weissmann would later work for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
And his detailed answers provide a damning rebuttal to the FBI’s portrayal of the Steele material.
In fact, the FBI did have derogatory information on Steele: Ohr explicitly told the FBI that Steele was desperate to defeat the man he was investigating and was biased.
And the FBI knew the motive of the client and did not have to speculate: Ohr told agents the Democratic nominee’s campaign was connected to the research designed to harm Trump’s election chances.
Such omissions are, by definition, an abuse of the FISA system.
So when are people going to be prosecuted for all this?