Judicial Watch announced today that it filed two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the Justice Department for records about top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie Ohr’s involvement in the Trump dossier authored by Christopher Steele (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No.1:18-cv-00490)) and (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No.1:18-cv-00491)).
Until his dossier-related demotion, Bruce Ohr was the fourth ranked official at DOJ and a contact for Steele. The House Intelligence Committee memo released by Chairman Devin Nunes on February 2 says that Nellie Ohr was “employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump” and that Bruce Ohr passed the results of that research, which was paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign, to the FBI.
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuits in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia after the Justice Department failed to respond to two separate FOIA requests in December 2017.
Judicial Watch’s December 7, 2017, FOIA request about Bruce Ohr seeks:
- All records of contact or communication, including but not limited to emails, text messages, and instant chats between Bruce Ohr and any of the following individuals/entities: former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele; owner of Fusion GPS Glenn Simpson; and any other employees or representatives of Fusion GPS.
- All travel requests, authorizations and expense reports for Bruce Ohr.
- All calendar entries for Bruce Ohr.
Judicial Watch’s December 12, 2017, FOIA request about Nellie Ohr seeks:
- All records of contact or communication, including but not limited to emails, text messages, and instant chats, between DOJ officials in the Attorney General’s Office and Fusion GPS employee or contractor Nellie Ohr.
- All records of communications, including but not limited to emails, text messages and instant chats, between DOJ officials in the Attorney General’s Office and Fusion GPS employee or contractor Nellie H. Ohr.
The Nunes memo notes that before Steele was terminated as a source “he maintained contact” with Bruce Ohr. The memo states:
For example, in September 2016, Steele admitted to Ohr his feelings against then-candidate Trump when Steele said he ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.’ [Emphasis in original] This clear evidence of Steele’s bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files – but not reflected in any of the [Carter] Page FISA applications.
According to Fox News, even after Steele’s termination from the FBI, Steele and Ohr remained in close contact.
“Once again, the Deep State Justice Department is covering up evident misconduct targeting President Trump,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “Bruce Ohr, a top Justice Department official in the Obama administration, had an obvious conflict of interest through his wife Nellie’s work with the Clinton/DNC vendor Fusion GPS on the anti-Trump Dossier. The Justice Department needs to come clean about this scandal and turn over the documents as federal law requires.”