Judicial Watch Exposes Deep State Anti-Trump Collusion
DOJ Records Show Numerous Bruce Ohr Communications with Clinton-linked Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele
Judicial Watch Sues DOJ for Records on Effort to Rollback Trump Decision to Declassify Russia Probe Documents
Obama Holdover Fires Journalists Over Report Critical of Soros
Big news. We just uncovered 339 pages of heavily redacted records from the Justice Department which reveal that former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr remained in regular contact with former British spy and Fusion GPS contractor Christopher Steele after Steele was terminated by the FBI in November 2016 for revealing to the media his position as an FBI confidential informant.
The records show that Ohr served as a go-between for Steele by passing along information to “his colleagues” on matters relating to Steele’s activities. Ohr also set up meetings with Steele, regularly talked to him on the telephone and provided him assistance in dealing with situations Steele was confronting with the media.
“Get Trump” Dossier author Steele worked for the Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS, the Hillary Clinton campaign/DNC contractor that also employed Nellie Ohr, Bruce Ohr’s wife.
We obtained the records through a March 2018 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed after the Justice Department failed to respond a December 2017 request Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00490)). The lawsuit seeks:
- All records of contact or communication, including but not limited to emails, text messages, and instant chats between Bruce Ohr and any of the following individuals/entities: former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele; owner of Fusion GPS Glenn Simpson; and any other employees or representatives of Fusion GPS.
- All travel requests, authorizations and expense reports for Bruce Ohr.
- All calendar entries for Bruce Ohr.
We asked for records from January 1, 2015, to December 7, 2017. Of course, the emails between Bruce Ohr and Steele were heavily redacted, including some of the dates they were sent and received.
Here is a sampling.
Steele: Dear Bruce,
Just to let you know I shall be in DC at short notice on business from this PM till Saturday eve, staying at the Mayflower Hotel. If you are in town it would be good to meet up, perhaps for breakfast tomorrow morn? Happy to see Nellie too if she’s up for it. Please let me know. Best, Chris
Ohr: Dear Chris –
Nice to hear from you! Nellie and I would be up for breakfast tomorrow and can come into town. What would be a good time for you? Bruce
Steele: Thanks Bruce.
On me at the Mayflower Hotel, Conn Ave NW at 0900 should work but I’ll confirm the time for definite this eve if I may. Looking forward to seeing you. Chris
Ohr: Sounds good, but we won’t let you pay for breakfast! I’ll wait for your confirmation on time. Bruce
Steele: Let’s do 0900 then. See you in the lobby. Chris
Ohr: Very good. See you at 900.
On Saturday, July 30, 2016, Steele sends his thanks to Bruce Ohr for the meeting, “Great to see you and Nellie this morning:”
Ohr: Great to see you and Nellie this morning Bruce. Let’s keep in touch on the substantive issues/s. Glenn [Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson] is happy to speak to you on this if it would help. Best, Chris
On Friday, September 16, 2016, Steele and Ohr begin planning a meeting in the Capital Hilton:
Steele: Dear Bruce,
I hope you are well. I am probably going to visit Washington again in the next couple of weeks on business of mutual interest. I would like to see you again in person and therefore to coordinate diaries. So when are you planning to be in town please? Thanks and Best, Chris
P.S. I don’t think I have up to date cell or landline phone numbers for you. Grateful if you could send met them.
Ohr: Hi Chris –
It would be great to see you I DC. I’ll be out of town Sept 19-21 but should be here the rest of the time. My numbers are office 202 307 2510 and cell [Redacted] Let me know what works best for you.
Steele: Dear Bruce,
I have now arrived in DC and am staying at the Capital Hilton, 1101 16th Street NW. I don’t know my client-related programme yet but am keen to meet up with you. Might we provisionally say breakfast on Friday morn or even tomorrow morn if necessary? Look forward to hearing back from you. Best, Chris
Ohr: Hi Chris
Would tomorrow for breakfast still work for you? My calendar is pretty good tomorrow morning, not so good on Friday. An early breakfast Friday, say 8 am?, would work too. Should I come to your hotel? Bruce
Steele: Thanks Bruce.
0800 on Friday would still be better for me, at the hotel. More useful to all I think, after my scheduled meetings tomorrow. Thanks, Chris
Ohr: Chris –
Perfect. I’ll see you Friday at your hotel at 8 am. Bruce
Bruce Ohr’s December 8, 2016, phone log shows he called Simpson for a meeting “tomorrow at 3.”
Bruce Ohr’s December 13, 2016, phone log shows he spoke with Glenn Simpson the day before and received “some more news.” The log also lists “Rod Rosenstein 5:48 pm.”
An exchange beginning December 11, 2016, between Bruce Ohr and Simpson shows them discussing a Daily Beast and a Think Progress article and setting up a phone call between them.
The documents we obtained show a string of encrypted text messages from January to November 2017, well after the FBI had terminated Steele, discussing a possible new point of contact should Ohr leave the FBI; a series of appointments for phone calls; and assurance that Ohr shared information with his “colleagues”:
On January 31, 2017, messages are exchanged between Bruce Ohr and Steele regarding fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates:
Steele: B, doubtless a sad and crazy day for you re-SY [Sally Yates]. Just wanted to check you are OK, still in situ and able to help locally as discussed, along with your Bureau colleagues, with our guy if the need arises? Many Thanks and Best as Always, C
Ohr: Bruce: Yes, a crazy day. I’m still here and able to help as discussed. I’ll let you know if that Changes. Thanks!
Steele: Thanks. You have my sympathy and support. If you end up out though, I really need another (Bureau?) contact point/number who is briefed. We can’t allow our guy to be forced to go back home. It would be disastrous all round, though his position right now looks stable. A million thanks. C
Ohr: Bruce: Understood. I can certainly give you an FBI contact if it becomes necessary.
On March 6, 2017, Senator Grassley wrote a letter to former FBI Director Comey regarding payments to Steele.
On March 7, 2017, messages are exchanged between Steel and Bruce Ohr about the Grassley letter:
Steele: Would it be possible to speak later today please? We’re very concerned by the Grassley letter and it’s possible implications for our operations and our sources. We need some reassurance. Many thanks
Ohr: Bruce: Sure Would 1:30 today, DC time, work?
Steele: Yes thanks it would…. I know you’ll appreciate why we are concerned.
Ohr: Bruce: Of course.
Ohr: Bruce: My Skype app is acting up. Can we use the Whatapp [sic] voice call?
Ohr: Bruce: I think my skype is working now if you want to call me.
Steele: Thanks for that, old friend. Please do fight our cause and keep in touch. Really fundamental issues at stake here. Very Best
Ohr: Bruce: Likewise, hang in there!
An exchange beginning on March 18, 2017, mentions apprehension regarding Comey’s scheduled March 20, 2017, testimony before Congress and hopes that “important firewalls will hold”:
Steele: Hi! Just wondering if you had any news? Obviously we’re a bit apprehensive given Comey’s scheduled appearance at Congress on Monday. Hoping that important firewalls will hold. Many thanks,
Ohr: Bruce: Sorry, no new news. I believe my earlier information is still accurate. I will let you know immediately if there is any change.
Beginning on March 24, 2017, following Comey’s testimony, Ohr and Steele discuss “our response:”
Steele: Hi Bruce, … we understand an approach from the Senate Intelligence Committee to us is imminent. I would like to discuss this and our response with you in the next couple of days if possible. Please let me know when might suit? Many thanks and Best, Chris
Ohr: We can chat this weekend if you are available. Would sometime on Sunday work for you? I’m pretty open.
Steele: Thanks Bruce. Let’s speak on Sunday eve UK time, maybe 1400 or 1500 EST if that works for you? Best
Ohr: Bruce: 1400 east coast time on Sunday will work. Thanks and talk with you then.
On March 30, 2017, Steele writes to Bruce Ohr about concerns with Senate Intelligence Committee leaks:
Steele: Hi Bruce, any news? The Senate Intel Committee is leaking like a sieve [Redacted] Hopefully speak soon. Best, Chris
Ohr: Chris, no news on this end, aside from what I’m reading in the papers. Just amazing. [Redacted] Let me know if you would like to talk.
In May several messages are exchanged regarding scheduling calls ending on May 15, 2017, with Bruce Ohr confirming that he spoke with the FBI and will update Steele:
Ohr: Bruce: thanks again. I chatted with my colleagues and can give you an update when you have a minute.
On July 16, 2017, Steele asks Bruce Ohr to pass on information, and Ohr agrees:
Steele: Hi Bruce, hope you’re enjoying the summer. [Redacted] Please pass this on as appropriate. Crazy week over there just past! Best, Chris
Ohr: Bruce: Hi Chris, it’s good to hear from you. Hope all is well. I will pass this along to my colleagues. Thanks!
On October 26, 2017, Steele says he’s “very concerned” about documents the FBI intends to turn over to Congress “about my work and relationship with them:”
Steele: Hi Bruce. Can we have a word tomorrow please? Just seen a story in the media about the Bureau handing over docs to Congress about my work and relationship with them. Very concerned about this. Peoples live may be engangered [sic]. [Redacted] Thanks, Chris
On October 30, 2017, Steele writes that he spoke to Simpson about information discussed with Bruce Ohr:
Steele: Bruce, having spoken with Glenn [Simpson] in London today, I now understand and appreciate what you were talking about on Saturday. Love and Best Wishes to you, Nellie and all the family.
On November 18, 2017, Steele and Ohr plan to discuss “difficulties and uncertainty” via Whatsapp:
Steele: Dear Bruce, I hope you and the family are well. It’s been another tough week here under the media spotlight and with legal pressures bearing down on us. I am presuming [redacted]. Also, we remain in the dark as to what has been briefed to Congress about us, our assets and previous work. I know you understand the importance of all this and have done your very best to support us, but we would be grateful if you could continue to [Redacted]. Sincere thanks for everything you are doing and I hope to speak to you again soon. Best, Chris
Ohr: Chris, thanks for reaching out. I understand the difficulties and uncertainty you are experiencing. I [redacted]. Let’s plan to talk early in the week – Bruce
Steele: Hi Bruce, is there any chance we could have a catch-up Whatsapp call this eve GMT, maybe around 1500 with you? Otherwise tomorrow eve GMT? Many thanks, Chris
Ohr: Bruce: Chris – I have a meeting ending at 1500 today that might spill over a few minutes. Would 1515 work for you?
Steele: Yes, of course. C
Ohr: Bruce: I will call you then.
The documents also show that Nellie Ohr sent numerous emails and reports to Bruce Ohr and other Justice Department officials on Russia issues.
These smoking gun documents show that Christopher Steele, a Hillary Clinton operative and anti-Trump foreign national, secretly worked hand-in-glove with the Justice Department on its illicit targeting of President Trump
These documents leave no doubt that for more than a year after the FBI fired Christopher Steele for leaking, and for some 10 months after Donald Trump was sworn in as president, Bruce Ohr continued to act as a go-between for Steele with the FBI and Justice Department. The anti-Trump Russia investigation, now run by Robert Mueller, has been thoroughly compromised by this insider corruption.
Earlier, we released 412 pages of documents about FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrants targeting Carter Page, who had been a Trump campaign adviser, which seem to confirm that the FBI and DOJ misled the courts in withholding the material information that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC were behind the “intelligence” used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team.
We revealed that the Justice Department (DOJ) admitted in a court filing that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the FISA spy warrant applications targeting Page, who was the subject of four controversial FISA warrants.
We also uncovered documents showing that Steele was cut off as a “Confidential Human Source” (CHS) after he disclosed his relationship with the FBI to a third party. The documents show at least 11 FBI payments to Steele in 2016 and document that he was admonished for unknown reasons in February 2016.
We have more documents coming and more lawsuits pending on this Deep State collusion to target President Trump, so stay tuned …
The Deep State bureaucracy is adept at covering up misconduct by government officials – especially the misconduct related to the illicit spying on and targeting of President Trump. This is why Judicial Watch’s independent lawsuits to pry loose information on this assault on the rule of law are essential.
We just filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice for records about the agency’s involvement in persuading President Trump to defer his September 2018 decision to declassify DOJ documents related to the Russia investigation.
Our lawsuit is also seeking DOJ official Bruce Ohr’s records of communications around the time of Trump’s declassification announcement. Ohr, once the fourth-ranking official at DOJ, was a key conduit between anti-Trump dossier author Christopher Steele and the FBI.
We filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the DOJ failed to respond to a September 18, 2018, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-00507)). Judicial Watch seeks:
Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the proposed declassification of certain Department of Justice records as ordered by President Trump on September 17, 2018. The request includes, but is not limited to, any and all related records of communication sent by or addressed to any official, employee, or representative of the Department of Justice.
Any and all emails or other records of communication sent by or addressed to DOJ official Bruce Ohr between September 16, 2018 and September 18, 2018.
On September 17, 2018, President Trump ordered the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Justice Department to declassify certain documents related to the investigation of possible meddling by Russia in the 2016 election. The documents included FBI reports on interviews with Ohr; pages of an application for a renewed surveillance warrant against Carter Page; and all FBI reports of interviews prepared in connection with all other applications to surveil Carter Page. Also included are text messages of Ohr, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that Trump ordered the documents released “at the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency.”
On September 21, 2018, President Trump tweeted: “I met with the DOJ concerning the declassification of various UNREDACTED documents. They agreed to release them but stated that so doing may have a perceived negative impact on the Russia probe. Also, key Allies’ called to ask not to release.”
In a follow-on tweet, President Trump said: “Therefore, the Inspector General … has been asked to review these documents on an expedited basis. I believe he will move quickly on this (and hopefully other things which he is looking at). In the end I can always declassify if it proves necessary. Speed is very important to me – and everyone!”
The documents have not yet been declassified.
The UK’s Telegraph reported that the British spy agency MI6 had urged Trump not to declassify the documents.
We have little doubt the Deep State DOJ is improperly trying to cover-up FISA abuse and other Russia hoax documents that President Trump initially ordered declassified. President Trump should immediately declassify these documents in order to expose any other abuses by the DOJ and FBI. Regardless, Judicial Watch will continue to press for the truth through the courts in the ongoing Deep State scandal.
Two years into the administration of President Trump we have a holdover Obama appointee firing government employees in seeming retaliation for a report critical of the left-wing billionaire activist George Soros. The story involves your own Judicial Watch, as our Corruption Chronicles blog reports.
At the request of a scandal-plagued Democratic senator tried for bribery and corruption, the head of the government’s international media networks is abusing his office to punish employees behind a broadcast critical of leftwing billionaire George Soros. U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) Chief John F. Lansing, an Obama appointee, is utilizing Stalinist techniques to retaliate against the journalists and producers involved in the Spanish-language segment which aired in May 2018 on Television Martí and was available for months online. Eight reporters and editors at the taxpayer-funded media outlet have been fired and Lansing has ordered a review of all content to address “patterns of unethical, unprofessional, biased, or sub-standard journalism.”
An employee at the Miami, Florida-based Martí headquarters said in a local newspaper report “the environment that has been created by the upper hierarchy of the Agency for Global Media is repressive. People write with fear. Adjectives are no longer used.”
Television Martí—and its radio counterpart—operate under the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) and comprise one of the USAGM’s five international multimedia networks. The others are Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia and Middle East Broadcasting. The media outlets get about $685 million a year from American taxpayers and reportedly reach 345 million people worldwide in 59 languages. The global media agency was created to counter disinformation spread by oppressive regimes abroad. The USAGM website states that its mission is “to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy.” Television and Radio Martí were created to promote freedom and democracy by providing the people of Cuba with objective news and information programming.
The Soros broadcast focused on his efforts to cripple sovereign governments in Latin America. Judicial Watch was cited as a source because it investigated State Department funding of Soros groups in Colombia and published a report on Soros’ initiatives to advance a radical globalist agenda in Guatemala. Judicial Watch also released a special report documenting the financial and staffing nexus between Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF) and the U.S. government. In that document, Judicial Watch connects the dots between U.S.-funded entities and OSF affiliates to further the Hungarian-born philanthropist’s agenda seeking to destabilize legitimate governments, erase national borders, target conservative politicians, finance civil unrest, subvert institutions of higher education, and orchestrate refugee crises for political gain. A few years ago Judicial Watch exposed a scheme in which the U.S. government spent millions of dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia by colluding with Soros’ OSF.
More than five months after the Spanish-language Soros broadcast aired on Television Martí, the segment caught the eye of disgraced New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez. In an October 31, 2018 letter to Lansing, the senator orders an immediate investigation into the Soros broadcast as well as an audit “on patterns of unethical and unprofessional reporting” at OCB. Menendez also smears Judicial Watch, stating that the Soros segment had “no credible sourcing” and “occasionally cites only a fringe website.” Lansing uses similar language in a mainstream newspaper article about the recent Martí firings over the Soros video. “The person developing the Soros story was using Judicial Watch as a source as I understand it — the story was not only poorly sourced, it relied heavily on one less-than-credible source,” Lansing says in the article, which states that “Soros has emerged as a leading boogeyman on the right.”
Menendez, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee despite his sordid history, blocked President Trump’s nomination last year to replace Lansing as USAGM chief. A few years ago, Menendez was charged with federal bribery and corruption stemming from his relationship with a crooked south Florida eye doctor that lavished him with cash, gifts and trips in exchange for political favors. The eye doctor, Salomon Melgen, got convicted of stealing $73 million from Medicare and was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Menendez got off because jurors were unable to reach a verdict and his trial ended in mistrial. His colleagues on the Senate Ethics Committee determined that the veteran lawmaker not only violated senate rules, but also federal law and applicable standards of conduct. In a public letter of admonition, the committee writes that over a six-year period Menendez knowingly and repeatedly accepted gifts of significant value from Melgen in violation of senate rules and federal law. “Additionally, while accepting these gifts, you used your position as a Member of the Senate to advance Dr. Melgen’s personal and business interests,” the committee writes.
Menendez has been embroiled in other corruption schemes throughout his political career and Judicial Watch has served as a credible source in uncovering them. As far back as 2007, Menendez was investigated by a federal grand jury for illegally steering lobbying business to his former chief of staff Kay LiCausi, with whom he was also romantically linked. In just a few years, her firm reported $1.3 million in business with nearly $300,000 coming from a New Jersey medical center that was later awarded government funding thanks to a push from her former boss and lover.
In 2010, Menendez and his colleague in corruption, New Jersey Democrat Frank Lautenberg, allocated $8 million for a public walkway and park space adjacent to upscale, waterfront condos built by a developer whose executives donated generously to their political campaigns. Perhaps not so coincidentally, the developer’s Washington D.C. lobbyist was a longtime senior aide to Menendez. The senator was also embroiled in a hooker scandal in the Dominican Republic with his incarcerated eye doctor pal and he hired an illegal immigrant sex offender to work in his senate office.
This is the muck of The Swamp. It stinks.
Until next week …