Judicial Watch on Thursday released the “302” summary memos from Justice Department official Bruce Ohr’s interviews with the FBI, confirming that the FBI, DOJ and State Dept. continued to have extensive contact with British ex-spy Christopher Steele well after he was fired by the bureau. Steele was reportedly fired in November of 2016 for leaking information from his dossier to the media.
Ohr met repeatedly with Steele until the appointment of former special counsel Robert Mueller in May of 2017.
“These new Bruce Ohr FBI 302s show an unprecedented and irregular effort by the FBI, DOJ, and State Department to dig up dirt on President Trump using the conflicted Bruce Ohr, his wife, and the Clinton/DNC spies at Fusion GPS,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FISA courts weren’t informed of this corrupted process when they were asked to approve and reapprove extraordinary spy warrants targeting President Trump.”
According to the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross, the memos undercut an FBI’s claim in the four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications against former Trump adviser Carter Page.
During a Nov. 22, 2016 interview with the FBI, Ohr discussed meetings between dossier author Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson and Yahoo! News reporter Michael Isikoff, who two months earlier had published an article that alleged that Page was under FBI investigation for contacts in Russia.
In their FISA applications, the FBI said that investigators did not believe that Steele was a source for Isikoff’s story. The Bureau relied on the unverified Clinton and DNC-funded Steele dossier to claim to the FISA court that Page was an agent of Russia.
In four FISA applications — which the FBI submitted in October 2016, January 2017, April 2017, and June 2017 — the FBI “does not believe that Source #1,” who has been identified as Steele, “directly provided this information to the identified news organization that published the September 23rd News Article.”
Employing an unethical intelligence-gathering practice known as “circular reporting,” the FBI also cited Isikoff’s article and at least one other news report about Page in the applications.
Mother Jones reporter David Corn published a story based on allegations from in the anti-Trump dossier on Oct. 31, 2016. After that article appeared, the FBI purportedly cut ties with Steele because of his unauthorized contacts with the media.
Ohr’s interview transcripts also reveal extensive contacts between Steele and the Clinton Campaign and State Department officials.
Ohr said that he knew during the campaign that Steele’s reporting was “going to the Clinton campaign, Jon Winer at the U.S. State Department and the FBI.”
“OHR was aware that Simpson was passing [Steele’s] information to many individuals or entities and at time [Steele] would attend meetings with Simpson,” the FBI transcripts also say.
Winer, who served as the State Department’s special envoy to Libya, was Steele’s main contact at Foggy Bottom. He was also a source for both Isikoff and Corn, who published articles touting Steele’s dossier.
Isikoff and Corn revealed in a book published last year that Winer vouched for Steele’s credibility as an intelligence source.
But the FBI’s overall assessment has proven false, as both Steele and Isikoff have acknowledged meeting in mid-September 2016.
“These FBI notes show that the FBI, the Justice Department, and the State Department were working with the Clinton spy ring at Fusion GPS in what I would call a coup attempt against President Trump,” said Fitton.
.@TomFitton on FBI '302' notes: "These FBI notes show that the FBI, the Justice Department, and the State Department were working with the Clinton spy-ring of Fusion GPS in what I would call a 'coup-attempt' against President @realDonaldTrump."
READ HERE: https://t.co/zHXQZ6IAgE pic.twitter.com/FY9g70uQ7n
— Judicial Watch 🔎 (@JudicialWatch) August 9, 2019
Conservative commentator Dan Bongino summed up on Fox and Friends what he thinks the FBI and DOJ were up to in 2016-2017. “You have to understand that this was an information laundering operation from the start,” he explained.
“There was an effort to target the Trump team with information that was factually inaccurate–that he was colluding with the Russians,” he said.
The way to make the non-factual story have credibility, Bongino further explained, was to have multiple people in and out of government talk about it. Bongino said Steele was used as a front in the operation because he FBI had used him as a source in the past. This way, he could give the hoax credibility.
Bongino said that there is a distinct possibility that Steele didn’t even write most of the dossier.
“Now we know that Nellie Ohr in fact put together a dossier,” he noted. Nellie Ohr was working for Fusion GPS while Steele was communicating with her husband. Bongino suggested that her research on Manafort made it into the dossier.
He also noted that Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal in 2007 about Republican lobbyists representing controversial Russian clients.
“I encourage you to read that article today and then compare it to the dossier,” Bongino said. “It IS the dossier.” He compared Simpson’s article to a “movie script” that was already out there when they “slapped Steele’s name on it, changed a few of the names to Donald Trump.”
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)