Lawyer told Russia had ‘Trump over a barrel’

03 September, 2018, 18:57 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Justice Department official Bruce Ohr arrives for a closed hearing of the House Judiciary and House Oversight committees on Capitol Hill in Washington. A former British spy told Ohr a senior Justice Department lawyer

President Donald Trump said the chief justice of the US Supreme Court should tell the head of a national security court to question Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Justice Department officials about their use of a so-called Russian Federation dossier as part of a collusion probe.

President Trump and his supporters have pointed to the Ohrs as evidence that there was an improper connection between Hillary Clinton's opposition research and the Justice Department. "Collusion! Bruce was a boss at the Department of Justice and is, unbelievably, still there!"

That revelation prompted the FBI to open the counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016, one day after the breakfast but based on entirely different information.

Steele and Ohr, at the time of the 2016 presidential election a senior official in the deputy attorney general's office, had first met a decade earlier and developed a rapport over a shared interest in worldwide organized crime. "With Bruce Ohr, do you see him as potentially being in this pattern?"

Steele - a longtime Federal Bureau of Investigation informant - compiled a dossier using Democratic-funded research that contained salacious, unsubstantiated claims about the president.

Convicted felon and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was also mentioned in the report.

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The details of the exchange were confirmed to The Associated Press by multiple people.

Deripaska told investigators their theories about Manafort's role on the campaign were "preposterous" and disputed any potential connections between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, a person familiar with the exchange told the Times.

Ohr's communications with Steele were blessed by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, though he did not inform his supervisor, then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, about the meetings, according to the source with knowledge of Ohr's testimony. Ohr's wife, Nellie, was also a contractor for Fusion GPS.

Ohr told lawmakers he could not vouch for the accuracy of Steele's information but has said he considered him a reliable FBI informant who delivered credible and actionable intelligence, including his investigation into corruption at Federation Internationale de Football Association, soccer's global governing body.

The aide, who wasn't authorized to discuss the committee's confidential work and spoke on condition of anonymity, said it would be a violation of committee rules for the Judiciary or Oversight committee Republicans to have used any material shared with the House intelligence committee without such a vote.

"And if Jeff Sessions won't, he should step down and let someone do it".

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