Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said Tuesday that former Department of Justice (DOJ) Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr should be fired for coordinating with Christopher Steele and concealing his wife’s income for doing so, too.
“I think based on what I’ve seen, unless Bruce Ohr was instructed to do what he did, then certainly he should be fired,” Meadows told a crowd of reporters outside a closed-door joint hearing of the House Judiciary Committee and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
The two House panels are reviewing DOJ and FBI actions in their investigations of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for government business between 2009 and 2013, and allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russian interests.
“It means, not only was he coordinating with Christopher Steele, who had been terminated by the FBI, but coordinating with him multiple times after that termination, coordinating with wife, Nellie Ohr, who got paid tens of thousands of dollars to help write the dossier,” Meadows said.
“That’s just not what we expect from the Department of Justice,” Meadows said. “So, unless he was instructed to do that, then certainly he should be terminated.”
Ohr is testifying under oath before the two committees regarding his role in DOJ’s assisting Steele, the former British spy who provided the infamous dossier attributed to him.
Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm indirectly retained by Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) the presidential candidate then controlled.
Fusion GPS, which hired Steele to compile the dossier of materials critical of President Donald Trump, was paid for by the Washington, D.C., law firm Perkins Coie on behalf of Clinton and the DNC. The firm specializes in representing Democratic candidates and committees.
The dossier was based largely on sensational but unverified information Fusion GPS and Steele obtained from Russian interests, and the FBI used it to obtain surveillance warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to spy on Carter Page, a low-level Trump campaign aide. The court was not told who compiled the dossier or who paid for it.
Meadows also noted that there is a compelling case that the DOJ and FBI knew there was no Trump/Russia collusion before seeking the FISA warrants. He said the information comes from a number of credible witnesses. It’s also vital for Ohr to testify to explain things found in his notes and texts, according to Meadows.
“We’ve seen his notes, we’ve read his notes, we realize now that it wasn’t just a casual contact,” Meadows said, “that he was having multiple contacts with Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson with Fusion GPS on Inauguration Day.
“We have Bruce Ohr chatting with Glenn Simpson, or at least it appears that way, according to his notes, so why would they be so intent on working with a firm that was doing opposition research on Inauguration Day?”
Special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed in May 2017 to investigate the Trump/Russia collusion allegations. Meadows has said the special counsel probe is biased against Trump because most of the front-line prosecutors Mueller hired are active Democrats.
Former FBI agent Peter Strzok was deeply involved in the Hillary email probe and was removed from the Mueller investigation, then ultimately fired after exposure of thousands of virulently anti-Trump text messages he exchanged during those probes with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page. Strzok and Page were romantically involved at the time.