Investigators on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence appear to have uncovered a second husband-wife team who provided a conduit for opposition research by Fusion GPS into the highest levels of former President Barack Obama’s White House.
Shailagh Murray (shown above), a former Obama policy adviser who previously served as deputy chief of staff and communications director for then-Vice President Joe Biden, is married to Neil King Jr. — who works for the shadowy Washington, D.C.-based opposition research firm that hired former British spy Christopher Steele, according to Fox News.
Steele compiled a dossier during the 2016 presidential election of largely unverified allegations about President Donald Trump’s connections with Russian business and government interests.
Former FBI Director James Comey told Congress the Steele dossier consisted of “salacious and unverified” allegations.
The dossier’s questionable credibility did not, however, prevent bureau officials from relying almost exclusively on it to support their application for approval from a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to spy on a volunteer foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign.
Murray and King both worked for The Wall Street Journal, while Murray also was at The Washington Post during her career. Fusion GPS was founded by Glenn Simpson, another former Wall Street Journal reporter.
Steele’s compensation for providing the Trump dossier to Fusion GPS was paid by 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, which she controlled as the party’s standard-bearer against Republican Trump.
House intelligence panel chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) is asking Murray a series of questions regarding her knowledge of the Steele dossier, its funding, and how it came to be used by federal officials spying on the Trump campaign.
She and a second former Biden aide, Colin Kahl, have been sent questionnaires, according to Fox News. Should either of them decline to respond to those queries, the intelligence committee will seek to compel their answers.
Committee investigators see parallels between the Murray-King duo and that of Fusion GPS employee Nellie Ohr, whose husband Bruce was deputy associate attorney general during the 2016 campaign.
Committee investigators see parallels between the Murray-King duo and that of Fusion GPS employee Nellie Ohr, whose husband Bruce was deputy associate attorney general during the 2016 campaign. Bruce Ohr was demoted after it came out that he failed to disclose on federal conflict of interest reports the required details of his wife’s employment.
The Last Refuge blog, written by a team of former Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys, contends Fusion GPS was one of a number of National Security Agency contractors that lost access to the government’s intelligence databases in the wake of the Edward Snowden scandal.
The Ohrs provided “a workaround” to regain that access through the DOJ, according to the blog.