Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Ohr's Federal Bureau of Investigation work to flip Deripaska could explain Trump taunts

Justice Department official Bruce Ohr Pablo Martinez Monsivais Associated Press Justice Department official Bruce Ohr
Glenn Montgomery | 03 September, 2018, 18:51

Democrats on Friday accused Republicans of "cherry-picking" and leaking portions of text messages and emails between a USA law enforcement official and a former British spy who investigated then-businessman Donald Trump's ties to the Russian government.

Steele and Ohr, at the time of the 2016 presidential election a senior official in the deputy attorney general's office, had first met a decade earlier and developed a rapport over a shared interest in worldwide organized crime.

The official, Bruce Ohr, says he learned that information during a July 2016 breakfast with former British spy Christopher Steele. Who is Bruce Ohr, and why is Trump tweeting about not only about him but Ohr's wife as well?

Steele - a longtime Federal Bureau of Investigation informant - compiled a dossier using Democratic-funded research that contained salacious, unsubstantiated claims about the president. But the investigation was opened because of conversations involving former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, and not the dossier, FBI and congressional officials have said.

According to the Times, Ohr and Steele first discussed flipping Deripaska in November 2014.

Deripaska told investigators their theories about Manafort's role on the campaign were "preposterous" and disputed any potential connections between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, a person familiar with the exchange told the Times.

This is in line with unverified information from the Steele dossier that indicated that the Russian government may have had blackmail material on Trump. He said he didn't look at the information on them, according to the source.

In December 2017, Ohr was reassigned from his job in the deputy attorney general's office and given new responsibilities.

The officials, who spoke to the Times on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss the classified effort, told the Times they were afraid that revealing the effort could undermine national security.

He met again soon after with one of the officials, who told him Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did not believe he could continue in his current position as director of a law enforcement grant-distribution program known as the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Ohr was told Sessions and Rosenstein did not want him in the post because it involved White House meetings, the sources told the AP. Ohr's wife, Nellie, was also a contractor for Fusion GPS.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores declined to comment.

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