DOJ Official Bruce Ohr Will Appear Before Congress Later In August
The Department of Justice official whose wife worked for dossier firm Fusion GPS and maintained close contact with dossier author Christopher Steele will appear for an interview before members of two congressional committees later in August.
North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, a member of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, announced on Twitter that Bruce Ohr will appear on Aug. 28 “to answer why he had 60+ contacts with dossier author, Chris Steele, as far back as January 2016.”
“He owes the American public the full truth,” Meadows said of Ohr, a career Justice Department official.
A source with knowledge of the plans tells The Daily Caller News Foundation that Ohr will appear before members of the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees for a closed-door interview. (RELATED: Republican Lawmakers Renew Focus On Bruce Ohr)
Emails and text messages released between Tuesday and Thursday show that Ohr was in frequent contact with Steele, a former British spy who wrote the dossier while on the payroll of the Clinton campaign and DNC. The messages show that Steele also lobbied Ohr on behalf of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire with links to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Steele wanted to ensure that Deripaska obtained a visa to travel to the U.S. The State Department blocked the billionaire from visiting the U.S. in 2006 because of concerns about his ties to the Russia mafia.
Steele wrote to Ohr on Feb. 8, 2016, about Deripaska’s visa status saying that it “would be helpful if you could monitor it and let me know if any complications arise.”
Ohr said he would “keep an eye on” the situation.
Ohr and Steele remained in contact from January 2016 through late 2017, according to the messages, which were reported Tuesday by The Hill and The Washington Examiner.
While Ohr was in contact with Steele, his wife, a Russia expert named Nellie Ohr, was working for Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that hired Steele to commission the dossier. Ohr also stayed in touch with Steele well after the FBI cut ties with the former MI6 officer because of unauthorized contacts with the media. (RELATED: Christopher Steele Lobbied Bruce Ohr On Behalf Of Putin-Linked Oligarch)
The FBI ended its relationship with Steele on Nov. 1, 2016, after he spoke with a Mother Jones reporter for an article that contained allegations from the dossier.
Ohr was interviewed by the FBI a dozen times from November 2016 to May 2017 about his interactions with Steele. Ohr was demoted from his position as associate deputy attorney general, the fourth highest-ranking official in the Justice Department, in December after Fox News reported his links to Fusion GPS.