Justice Department official Bruce Ohr reportedly told members of Congress during closed door testimony on Wednesday that multiple senior FBI and DOJ officials knew of the origins of the anti-Trump dossier, but did not disclose the information in FISA applications to spy on a Trump campaign associate.
Rep. John Ratcliffe, the Texas Republican who is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, was among the members present during Ohr’s testimony.
“Before yesterday, we thought the FBI and DOJ had not disclosed material facts they were aware of in the FISA application,” Ratcliffe said Wednesday via Twitter. “If Bruce Ohr testified truthfully, we now know that to be the case.”
Ratcliffe added, “Operational roles played by Bruce Ohr and Nellie Ohr, and their financial gain from it, were known to at least 1/2 dozen senior FBI and DOJ officials prior to the first FISA application, but were never disclosed.”
Operational roles played by Bruce Ohr and Nellie Ohr, and their financial gain from it, were known to at least 1/2 dozen senior FBI and DOJ officials prior to the first FISA application, but were never disclosed.
— John Ratcliffe (@RepRatcliffe) August 29, 2018
Ratcliffe, a former DOJ prosecutor, explained the issue this revelation regarding the FISA application raises on FNC’s “Hannity” on Wednesday night.
“When the Department of Justice comes into the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and says we want a warrant to spy on an American citizen, and the central piece of the evidence in our case is a dossier, there is an obligation to say, ‘Oh, and by the way, the No. 4 person in our organization (Ohr) and his wife had major prominent operational roles with respect to how that dossier was put together, how the FBI received it, and by the way, they were paid handsomely by third parties for that,” Ratcliffe told Sean Hannity.
Ratcliffe said that one of the senior officials named by Ohr knew of the dossier’s origins, but still signed a FISA court application to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page.
“I’d retain a really good lawyer,” Ratcliffe said of the person who signed the FISA application.
Hannity commented, “I think his are initials ‘J.C.,'” a reference to former FBI Director James Comey.
Ratcliffe neither confirmed nor denied Comey’s involvement.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday, “Wow, Nellie Ohr, Bruce Ohr’s wife, is a Russia expert who is fluent in Russian. She worked for Fusion GPS where she was paid a lot. Collusion! Bruce was a boss at the Department of Justice and is, unbelievably, still there!”
Investigative journalist John Solomon of The Hill told Hannity he found it curious that Ohr reportedly told members of Congress neither he nor his wife had been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.
Nellie Ohr worked for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which retained former British spy Michael Steele to compile the Trump dossier. The dossier was ultimately funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Solomon said the dossier purported to address Trump contacts with Russia and played a prominent role in obtaining the FISA warrants. Further, those warrants were a integral part of the Russia investigation launched by the DOJ during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“I think that raises a lot of questions for people in Congress. ‘What is Bob Mueller really up to?'” Solomon said.
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