Judicial Watch: FBI 302 Interviews with Bruce Ohr on Spygate Released To Judicial Watch
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch today released 34 pages of “302” report material from FBI interviews with Bruce Ohr, who was removed from his position as U.S. Associate Deputy Attorney General in December 2017. The newly declassified documents were produced to Judicial Watch this evening.
These documents were obtained in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the Justice Department for failing to respond to an August 6, 2018 FOIA request seeking Form 302s for a number of interviews with Ohr concerning his interactions with Steele (Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-02107)). A Form 302 is used by FBI agents to summarize the interviews that they conduct and contains information from the notes taken during the interview.
- On November 22, 2016, Bruce Ohr said that “reporting on Trump’s ties to Russia were going to the Clinton Campaign, Jon Winer at the U.S. State Department and the FBI.”
In late September 2016, Ohr describes a person (likely Christopher Steele) as “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President.”
“Ohr knew that [Fusion GPS’s] Glen Simpson and others talking to Victoria Nuland at the U.S. State Department.”
- Glenn Simpson directed a person whose name is redacted to speak to the press. It appears as if the press that person went to was the far left leaning Mother Jones.
On December 5, 2016, Ohr promised to “voluntarily” give his wife Nellie Ohr’s Fusion GPS research to the FBI. He also provided the FBI with a report on Paul Manafort titled, “Manafort Chronology.”
- On December 12, 2016 Simpson gave Ohr a thumb drive with Fusion GPS research on it. Ohr claims to not know what is on that drive. During the meeting Simpson, based evidently on a meeting with Glenn Simpson, identified Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer as having “many Russian clients.” Simpson also told Ohr that Cohen, “may have” attended a meeting in Prague.
Ohr describes Simpson directing someone to talk to the Mother Jones reporter “as it was Simpson’s Hail Mary attempt.”
- On December 20, 2016, Ohr provided the FBI with his wife’s Nellie Ohr’s Fusion GPS research, “which contained the totality” of her work “but the Fusion GPS header was stripped.”
- On January 23, 2017, Ohr tells the FBI that Steele told him that Steele “spoke with a staff member of Senator John McCain’s office sometime prior to October 2016.”
- The FBI interviews show that Ohr texted and talked to Christopher Steele using the WhatsApp application.
- On February 2, 2017, the FBI tells Ohr to see if Steele would be “comfortable getting the name of an FBI agent” as a contact. Ohr tells the agents that State Department official Kathleen Kavalec spoke with “Steele several times prior to the U.S. Presidential election and believed Steele’s reporting to have [been] generated mainly from [Redacted.]
- On February 14, 2017, Ohr tells the FBI that Steele communicated with him via Facetime that Steele was “beginning to worry about his business.” Steele discussed brokering new business with the FBI and told Ohr, “You may see me re-emerge in a couple of weeks.”
- On May 3, 2017, Steele called Ohr to tell him that he “had been worried about Director Comey’s upcoming testimony to Congress, especially his response to questions that would be raised by (Senator) Grassley.” Although what he was specifically worried about is redacted, Steele was “happy with Director Comey’s response.”
Steele also stated that he was limited in “his ability to testify before Congress” because of disclosure laws in the UK being more narrow than the United States.
- On May 12, 2017, Steele called Ohr to discuss a letter the Senate Intelligence Committee sent him. According to Ohr, “The letter requested answers to the following questions:
- Had Steele provided information to the US Government?
- What was the scope of Steele’s investigation?
- Did Steele have any additional information to provide?
- In May, 2017, Ohr was asked by the FBI to ask “Steele if he would be willing to have a conversation with FBI agents in the UK.” Steele responded that he would, but he would need to check with a redacted name.
“These new Bruce Ohr FBI 302s show an unprecedented and irregular effort by the FBI, DOJ, and State Department to dig up dirt on President Trump using the conflicted Bruce Ohr, his wife, and the Clinton/DNC spies at Fusion GPS,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FISA courts weren’t informed of this corrupted process when they were asked to approve and reapprove extraordinary spy warrants targeting President Trump.”
In June, Judicial Watch uncovered documents showing the removal of Bruce Ohr November 13, 2016, Ohr was given a performance award of $28,000. This was during the time of his deep involvement in the highly controversial Justice Department surveillance of the Trump presidential campaign. The bonus was nearly double the $14,250 performance award he was given on November 29, 2015.
Bruce Ohr was married to Nellie Ohr of Fusion GPS and was removed because of his conflict of interest and role as conduit for Fusion GPS material. Ohr was removed from his position as Associate Deputy Attorney General on December 6, 2017. On January 7, 2018, Ohr was reassigned from his position of director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and shifted to Counselor for International Affairs in the Department of Justice Criminal Division. Ohr received a $2,600 pay increase.
One of Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuits recently produced information from the DOJ showing a conversation between former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Kathleen Kavalec Bruce Ohr, discussing the targeting of Donald Trump with Steele dossier material. In discussing a meeting with the potential source for a Mother Jones article accusing the Trump campaign of taking money from a Russian-American oil magnate, as well as Christopher Steele’s connection to that source, Kavalec emails Ohr citing the accusatory Mother Jones article. Ohr says, “I really hope we can get something going here.”
Also, Judicial Watch obtained an email revealing that Nellie Ohr, wife of Bruce Ohr, informed him that she was deleting emails sent from his DOJ email account. The full email exchange is between Bruce Ohr, Lisa Holtyn, Nellie Ohr, and Stefan Bress, a first secretary at the German Embassy, and is part of 339 pages of heavily redacted records from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Judicial Watch uncovered emails from Ohr showing that he 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.
Judicial Watch is suing the DOJ for communications between two of the pivotal players in the Deep State, anti-Trump collusion – former FBI official Peter Strzok and Ohr (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-01082)). Judicial Watch is challenging the Justice Department’s extraordinary claim that there are no records of communications between Strzok and Ohr in light of the preeminent role both individuals played in the Deep State effort to undermine the Trump campaign and administration. In addition, Ohr himself testified before Congress that he did, in fact, meet and communicate with Strzok.
Judicial Watch also seeks 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 (Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-00507)). Judicial Watch’s lawsuit is also seeking DOJ official Ohr’s records of communications around the time of Trump’s declassification announcement.