“TRYING TO GET TO THE CONNECTION”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Oct. 20, 2018) — On Friday night’s “Hannity,” Fox News commentator and show namesake Sean Hannity provided an update to the appearance of Nellie Ohr on Capitol Hill that morning to testify to members of two House committees as to her knowledge of the Trump-Russia “dossier.”
The segment begins at the 29:00 mark in a YouTube rebroadcast, courtesy of jonboy0809.
In 2016 Nellie Ohr worked on the dossier, which was opposition research on Donald Trump from unnamed Russian “sources.” Her husband, Bruce Ohr, testified to members of Congress in August. In response, one congressman said Bruce Ohr revealed “shocking” information as to the Justice Department’s conduct related to the dossier and its political ramifications.
The dossier was commissioned by a private company, Fusion GPS, and paid for by the DNC/Hillary Clinton campaign. Beginning in October 2016, its contents were used as evidence by the Justice Department and FBI to obtain surveillance warrants on Carter Page, a then-Trump campaign volunteer adviser.
Fusion GPS former British spy Christopher Steele to gather the information on Trump, apparently with Nellie Ohr’s and others’ assistance.
Fusion co-founder Glenn Simpson invoked his Fifth Amendment right Tuesday and refused to answer questions to the same congressional committee members Nellie Ohr spoke with on Friday morning. Simpson had previously testified last fall.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-11), who was in yesterday’s closed-door session, confirmed that Nellie Ohr cited “spousal privilege” in response to some questions put to her.
“We were trying to get to the connection between Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson, the ones who hired Christopher Steele and others to do the dossier, and ultimately, the go-between, which was, in our opinion, at times, Nellie Ohr to Bruce Ohr at DOJ and then to the FBI,” Meadows said. “A lot of the communication – she was actually a cooperative witness, but when it got down to the real details, she either didn’t recall or they invoked a privilege that would say that the intimate conversations between a husband and wife could not be divulged and certainly claim that privilege. So I don’t know that we learned a whole lot.”
In September 2016, Steele leaked the existence of the dossier to the media and was consequently terminated as a confidential human source by the FBI. However, it has been reported that Steele continued to feed information to the FBI. In early January, the Senate Judiciary Committee referred Steele, who is a British citizen, to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution for violating his agreement with the FBI.
Text messages released in August show that Steele and Bruce Ohr were in communication both before and after the 2016 election.
During the same segment, investigative reporter Sara A. Carter disagreed with Nellie Ohr’s invocation of “spousal privilege” and opined that “Congress should continue to demand answers from her.”
Simpson testified last year that he was not in communication with Bruce Ohr until after the election, a statement contradicted by Ohr during his August testimony.
Former CIA Director John Brennan and the U.S. State Department are reported to have taken part in circulating the unverified dossier, of which several versions may have existed.
The totality of the activity within the “intelligence community,” DOJ, State Department and FBI indicates to many observers that a plot to discredit Trump and cause him to lose the election was actively being pursued by government officials expected to carry out their duties apolitically.
Sara Carter said that Nellie Ohr was providing dossier information to her husband, who then funneled it to the FBI. Bruce Ohr reportedly also transmitted information from Steele to the FBI which was intended to reach Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading an investigation into whether or not anyone in the Trump campaign “colluded” with the Kremlin to win the election.
It appears to some government observers that Mueller’s probe is nearing its end. Thus far, indictments have been issued on a majority of Russian operatives who likely will never see prosecution. In August, a federal jury convicted former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on eight of 18 counts associated with his work as a foreign agent from years past. Mueller’s probe has also garnered several plea deals by several former Trump campaign aides, although none relate to Russia “collusion.”