FBI wanted to reestablish contact with Trump-Russia dossier author Christopher Steele days after President Donald Trump fired bureau….
Daily Caller: The FBI wanted to reestablish contact with Trump-Russia dossier author Christopher Steele days after President Donald Trump fired bureau Director James Comey, a top Department of Justice official revealed during a previously secret congressional testimony.
DOJ official Bruce Ohr laid out efforts to influence the DOJ by Christopher Steele, a former British spy being paid by the Democratic National Committee via the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The FBI terminated Steele as a source in late 2016, reportedly for his contacts with the media, but he continued to funnel information to the bureau through Ohr.
On May 9, 2017, Trump fired Comey, which concerned FBI leaders. Comey has since been sharply critical of the president.
On May 15, Ohr and Steele discussed “re-engaging” with the FBI at the bureau’s request, which Steele agreed to, according to the testimony, which was obtained by The Epoch Times.
The FBI appeared to know that Ohr was funneling them information from a terminated source, since in May 2017, six months after he was terminated, it asked Ohr to have Steele contact the bureau directly.
After the appointment of Robert Mueller, Steele apparently also used Ohr as an intermediary with the Special Counsel Office.
“We are frustrated with how long this re-engagement with the Bureau and Mueller is taking. There are some new perishable operational opportunities we do not want to miss out on,” Steele told Ohr in a text obtained by The Hill and The Epoch Times.
He also sent a text to Ohr on Nov. 18, 2017: “I am presuming you’ve heard nothing back from your [special counsel] colleagues on the issue you kindly put to them for me. We have heard nothing from them either. To say this is disappointing would be an understatement.”
The Monday Epoch Times report unearthed the previously-concealed testimony from Ohr, a former associate deputy attorney general, given to Congress on Aug. 28, 2018.
As part of his earlier relationship with the FBI, Steele, a former British spy, gave the dossier to FBI agent Michael Gaeta in Rome in July 2016. But he was then met with silence.
Steele was funded by Fusion GPS, a firm run by former reporter Glenn Simpson that was working on behalf of the DNC. In late 2015, Fusion had begun paying Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, as a Russia analyst on a contractual basis.
But Bruce Ohr’s testimony suggests that Fusion hadn’t engaged with Nellie for a few months — until soon after the unsatisfactory meeting with the FBI agent in Rome, when Steele and Simpson also wanted to meet with the husband.
Ohr was assigned an FBI handler, agent Joe Pientka, according to his testimony. Ohr would receive materials from Steele and give them to Pientka, who would give them to Peter Strzok, the lead agent on the Russia-Trump investigation, who has since been fired for bias.
In December 2016, Ohr received a memory stick from Steele that he believed contained the dossier and gave it to the FBI. Ohr — whose official duties had little overlap with the probe — acknowledged that his inserting himself into the chain of evidence in an FBI investigation was unprecedented for him.
Ohr testified that he revealed his wife’s financial relationship with Fusion GPS to his FBI handler, acknowledging it was a source of potential bias. But records show that Ohr never obtained a conflict of interest waiver from his superiors, nor did he disclose his wife’s pay from Fusion GPS on annual ethics forms.
The FBI documented 12 meetings with Ohr in which he relayed information from Steele. But Ohr said there were also more meetings as recent as late November 2017, for which a record was absent, according to The Epoch Times.
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