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.
Bruce Ohr has been President Trump's latest target at the Justice Department, and he has threatened to revoke his security clearance. Ohr is a Department of Justice official who has been at the agency for nearly three decades. They discussed the matter when meeting for breakfast on July 30, 2016, according to the report.
Steele and Ohr, at the time of the election a senior official in the deputy attorney general's office, had first met a decade earlier and bonded over a shared interest in global organized crime.
Former associate deputy U.S. attorney general Bruce Ohr enters an elevator after testifying behind closed doors before the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform Committees on his alleged contacts with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson and former British spy Christopher Steele, who compiled a "dossier" of allegations linking Donald Trump to Russian Federation, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., August 28, 2018. "With Bruce Ohr, do you see him as potentially being in this pattern?"
Ohr, a 30-year Justice Department veteran, is being scrutinized for his meetings with Steele, the former British intelligence officer who compiled an infamous dossier on Trump and Russian Federation, and Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, the firm that hired Steele to do research on Trump.
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. But Ohr continued to communicate with Steele and passed information to the FBI despite not officially being involved in any investigation involving Trump.
Sciutto brought up Ohr specifically, saying, "Here's a Justice Department official who happens to be an expert on Russian organized crime".
In one instance, members read from an email in which Steele wrote to Ohr that he wanted to discuss something with him informally.
In December 2017, Ohr was reassigned from his job in the deputy attorney general's office and given new responsibilities. They said he was being stripped of his associate deputy attorney post as part of a planned internal reorganization that would have occurred anyway, people familiar with Ohr's account say.
"Absolutely", Hayden said. "And I don't know Mr. Ohr, but in anticipation of our conversation tonight, I kind of sent a note out to folks I know who might know him, and the description I got back from him was competent, thorough, and honest".