A new group of documents, released this week by the U.S. Justice Department to political watchdog group Judicial Watch, reveals that former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr gave the FBI anti-Trump political research that was produced by his wife Nellie Ohr for political-consulting firm Fusion GPS.
Fusion GPS had hired Nellie Ohr as a Russia expert during the latter part of 2015, as part of the firm’s effort to research then-candidate Donald Trump, his family, and his business associates, on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
In the summer of 2016, after Trump had just won the Republican nomination, Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, and both Bruce and Nellie Ohr began to correspond in order to discuss Trump’s potential Russia connections.
As reported last week, a series of recently-released FBI 302 reports reveal that Bruce Ohr began working with Steele in 2016 and was passing Steele’s political research through to the FBI.
However, when the FBI terminated its working relationship with Steele for leaking details of his Russia research to the press, Nellie Ohr continued to develop the Russia-Trump collusion narrative for Fusion GPS and served as a back-channel to the FBI through her husband.
Steele’s research for Fusion GPS, supplemented by Nellie Ohr’s own research, then served as the basis for the FBI’s expanded investigation into President Trump and his campaign staff.
The FBI, under then-Director James Comey, also used Steele as a confidential informant in order to obtain the first of several Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants used to place the Trump campaign under surveillance.
After Trump won the 2016 election, the FBI expanded its investigation into possible Russia-Trump collusion, despite the investigation having been compromised from the start, and despite both Christopher Steele and Nellie Ohr’s research for Fusion GPS being unverified.
After nearly two years of investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller III concluded that there was “insufficient evidence” to link President Trump or his campaign to Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election.