OR “MARITAL PRIVILEGE?”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Oct. 19, 2018) — Nellie Ohr, wife of DOJ official Bruce Ohr, appeared for her scheduled closed-door testimony to members of two House committees Friday morning, but questions remain as to whether or not she has invoked her Fifth Amendment right to refrain from self-incrimination.
In 2016, Nellie worked for research company Fusion GPS, tasked with compiling the now-infamous Trump-Russia “dossier” used to obtain four FISA warrants on then-Trump campaign advisor Dr. Carter Page. Nellie Ohr is reportedly fluent in Russian and is believed to have assisted in compiling the 35-page dossier intended to convince the FISA court — and ultimately the American public — that Donald Trump and/or his campaign aides maintained secret relationships with Russian operatives in an attempt to win the presidential election.
Bruce Ohr testified privately to members of Congress in August. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX), who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, said that the information he imparted was “shocking, alarming and disappointing” as to the Justice Department and FBI’s conduct in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election.
An FBI investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server over which she is known to have sent classified information likely intercepted by foreign actors is seen by some observers to have been incomplete, lacking depth and good-faith effort, and of having a predetermined outcome. From tens of thousands of text messages recovered by the Justice Department’s inspector general last year, it appears that key players in the Clinton investigation turned their attention to the Trump campaign directly after then-FBI Director James Comey stated publicly that he would not recommend Clinton for possible criminal prosecution by the DOJ.
During an interview Thursday morning between Heather Childers of “Fox & Friends First” and Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, Childers’s producer displayed a placard stating that Nellie Ohr had previously “refused to testify,” in an apparent reference to a Fox News broadcast of September 20, 2018. Childers also suggested that Nellie Ohr will do the same Friday morning.
On Tuesday, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson invoked his Fifth Amendment right, as his attorney had stated he would the day before, refusing to answer any congressional questions. Simpson had testified last fall as to his involvement in the Trump-Russia dossier and his contacts with the FBI and DOJ, although inconsistencies between his statements and those of Bruce Ohr have been noted.
On Thursday, former FBI Chief Counsel James Baker testified to members of two House committees, prompting Rep. Mark Meadows, who was present, to call for the “immediate resignation” of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whose own appearance before the committee members fell through at the last minute last week.
In his tweet on Thursday, Meadows excoriated Rosenstein for conducting an interview with The Wall Street Journal in his office at the Justice Department while shunning the request from Congress to testify under oath.
Late Thursday afternoon, the chairmen of the House Judiciary and Oversight & Government Reform Committees announced that Rosenstein’s sworn testimony has been rescheduled for Tuesday, October 24, during which lawmakers are expected to ask him about a New York Times article published last month contending that he suggested “wearing a wire” to secretly record President Trump and to make a case for removing him from office by means of the 25th Amendment.
Rosenstein has denied the article’s allegations.
An unconfirmed report states that Nellie Ohr has invoked “marital privilege” on at least some of the questions put to her this morning.