Bruce Ohr, the number four official in Barack Obama’s Department of Justice, testified before the House Oversight and Judiciary committees today. Given what we know about his role in the DOJ/FBI scandal, his testimony should have been riveting. However, he testified in closed session, so this will be a short post. Fox News hints at what happened behind closed doors:
While lawmakers told reporters that Ohr was being cooperative, Rep. Darrel Issa, R-Calif., said that Ohr “has a poor memory.”
“He seems to not remember a lot of details and, you know, poor memories are often claimed by people who want to stick to what they can say and not be caught in perjury,” he told Fox News.
That was what Richard Nixon told his subordinates: if you say you don’t remember, you are immune from perjury charges.
Republicans allege that Ohr played a key role in selling the dossier, commissioned by Fusion GPS and paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee. They were expected to ask why Ohr broke with protocol and kept up communication with its author, Steele, long after the FBI fired him as a source in late 2016 due to his contacts with the media.
“I don’t know if it’s improper but I want to know who at DOJ knew and it certainly looks like he continued to meet with Mr. Steele after the FBI had terminated their relationship with Mr. Steele,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told Fox News ahead of the hearing.
I don’t believe there is any doubt about that. Ohr also functioned as an intermediary between Steele and Robert Mueller after Mueller picked up the ball on behalf of the now-out-of-office Obama administration:
Text messages obtained and reviewed by Fox News show that Steele also tried to use Ohr as a go-between with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“We are frustrated with how long this reengagement with the Bureau and Mueller is taking,” Steele wrote to Ohr. “Anything you could do to accelerate the process would be much appreciated.”
Months later, Ohr confirmed to Steele that he had passed along his questions to Mueller’s team.
Of course he did! Ohr’s wife worked at Fusion GPS and was one of those hired by Hillary Clinton to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. That dirt became the infamous fake “dossier” that DOJ and the FBI used to get a warrant to surveil Americans involved with the Trump campaign, even though the Bureau knew the “dossier” was fraudulent. Steele leaked the “dossier” to the press, and the heads of the FBI and CIA brought about publication of the fake “dossier” by purporting to brief President-elect Trump on its contents, and then leaking the fact that the pretend briefing took place. Can anyone tell me why this isn’t the biggest political scandal in American history?
About two hours into the session, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., came out and told reporters that the FBI knew there were “credibility” issues surrounding the dossier before it was used to secure the first FISA warrant on Page in October 2016. Meadows said Ohr had never acted or handled evidence in this way before.
Of course he hadn’t. The Democratic Party hadn’t faced a crisis of this magnitude during the time Ohr was a high-ranking FBI official. When the occasion arose, Ohr and his wife Nellie swung into action on behalf of their party, engaging the FBI in the lowest sort of partisan hackery.
These must have been stirring events, but strangely, Bruce Ohr apparently doesn’t remember much about them.