- Bruce Ohr met during the 2016 campaign with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the “dossier.”
- Bruce Ohr met shortly after the election with Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS – the opposition research firm that hired Steele to compile the dossier with funds supplied by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee
- Fox News’s James Rosen and Jake Gibson broke the news Thursday that Ohr was demoted amid an ongoing investigation into his contacts with Fusion GPS.
Top DOJ official demoted amid probe of contacts with Trump dossier firm
EXCLUSIVE: A senior Justice Department official was demoted this week amid an ongoing investigation into his contacts with the opposition research firm responsible for the anti-Trump “dossier,” the department confirmed to Fox News.
Until Wednesday morning, Bruce G. Ohr held two titles at DOJ: associate deputy attorney general, a post that placed him four doors down from his boss, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; and director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), a program described by the department as “the centerpiece of the attorney general’s drug strategy.”
Ohr will retain his OCDETF title but has been stripped of his higher post and ousted from his office on the fourth floor of “Main Justice.”
Initially senior department officials could not provide the reason for Ohr’s demotion, but Fox News has learned that evidence collected by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., indicates that Ohr met during the 2016 campaign with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the “dossier.”
Later, a Justice Department official told Fox News: “It is unusual for anyone to wear two hats as he has done recently. This person is going to go back to a single focus—director of our organized crime and drug enforcement unit. As you know, combating transnational criminal organizations and drug trafficking is a top priority for the attorney general.”
Additionally, House investigators have determined that Ohr met shortly after the election with Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS – the opposition research firm that hired Steele to compile the dossier with funds supplied by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. By that point, according to published reports, the dossier had been in the hands of the FBI, which exists under the aegis of DOJ, for some five months, and the surveillance on Carter Page, an adviser to the Trump campaign, had started more than two months prior.
The media’s Russia probe meltdown: 3 screw-ups in one week
- Flynn’s testimony: Last Friday, ABC News reported that former national security advisor Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that President Trump, while still a candidate, directed him to contact Russian officials. But later in the day, the network issued a “clarification” that the direction came when Trump was president-elect. That changed the impact of the story entirely as it’s a common occurrence for presidential transition teams to reach out to foreign governments.
- Deutsche Bank subpoena: Reuters and Bloomberg both reported on Tuesday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation had subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for information on accounts relating to President Trump and his family members — seemingly confirming that Mueller had expanded his probe to investigate the president’s financial dealings. The WSJ defused that bombshell in a follow-up report stating that the subpoenas actually dealt with “people or entities close to Mr. Trump.”
- WikiLeaks emails: CNN reported this morning that senior Trump campaign officials, including Trump himself, received an email from an unknown sender on September 4, 2016 that linked them to what could have been unreleased WikiLeaks documents. WaPo issued their own report later in the afternoon that the email was actually sent on September 14 — and linked to a trove of documents that WikiLeaks had publicly released a day earlier.
Read more: THREE BIG MEDIA SCREW-UPS IN WEEK
( Daily Caller ) CNN quickly flew into damage control after they botched a major story on Donald Trump Jr. and his alleged ties to Russia.
CNN claimed that a Wikileaks surrogate shopped stolen Democratic documents to Trump Jr. in a September 4, 2016 email, essentially giving the Trump campaign special access. However, the email — which was obtained by The Daily Caller — was clearly not sent until September 14, a full day after the documents had already been released to the general public.
Finally, at 3:50 pm, CNN trotted out Manu Raju, one of the main reporters on the story, to correct his own reporting. It was an awkward moment, wherein Raju corrected the date that the email was sent, but did not apologize for the error.
Read more: CNN Flies Into Damage Control After False Russia Story
FAKE HYSTERIA! JARED KUSHNER TOLD MIKE FLYNN TO CONTACT RUSSIA ABOUT ITS U.N. VOTE ON ISRAELI SETTLEMENT – NO COLLUSION!
- Jared Kushner called Mike Flynn to contact Russia about its U.N. Security Council vote on Israeli settlements
- This is not a scandal
- Nothing in any of the plea deals or indictments indicates any scheme to collude with Russia to influence the election
National Review by David French
The “very senior member” of the PTT who asked Flynn to contact Russia about its U.N. Security Council vote has been unmasked. Bloomberg’s Eli Lake reports that it’s Jared Kushner:
At the time, the U.N. Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements was a big deal. Even though the Obama administration had less than a month left in office, the president instructed his ambassador to the United Nations to abstain from a resolution, breaking a precedent that went back to 1980 when it came to one-sided anti-Israel resolutions at the U.N.
This was the context of Kushner’s instruction to Flynn last December. One transition official at the time said Kushner called Flynn to tell him he needed to get every foreign minister or ambassador from a country on the U.N. Security Council to delay or vote against the resolution. Much of this appeared to be coordinated also with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose envoys shared their own intelligence about the Obama administration’s lobbying efforts to get member stats to support the resolution with the Trump transition team.
Unless Kushner has lied to the FBI about these contacts, this is not a scandal. Nothing that we’ve seen in any of the plea deals or indictments yet indicates any scheme to collude with Russia to influence the election. To be sure, we haven’t seen all the evidence (ABC reports that Flynn was instructed to contact Russia during the campaign, and we don’t yet know the substance of these contacts), but right now it looks like Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about doing his job.
MIKE FLYNN DID NOT PLEAD TO RUSSIA COLLUSION, WILL TESTIFY NEWLY ELECTED PRESIDENT TRUMP DIRECTED HIM TO TALK TO RUSSIA ABOUT ISIS IN SYRIA
- Flynn did not plead guilty to an espionage conspiracy
- Mike Flynn plead guilty to a mere process crime – a false-statement charge from Flynn’s conversation on December 29, 2016, with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak
- Flynn’s conversation with Sergei Kislyak , which was recorded by the FBI, occurred on the same day that then-president Barack Obama announced sanctions against Russia
- Mueller has charged Flynn with falsely telling FBI agents that he did not ask the ambassador “to refrain from escalating the situation” in response to the sanctions
- Flynn is prepared to testify that Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians — initially to lay the groundwork for mutual efforts against ISIS in Syria. That, however, is exactly the sort of thing the incoming national-security adviser is supposed to do in a transition phase between administrations
What the Flynn Plea Means
by Andrew C. McCarthy December 1, 2017
Flynn, who is reportedly cooperating with the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller, is pleading guilty in federal district court in Washington, D.C., to a one-count criminal information (which is filed by a prosecutor in cases when a defendant waives his right to be indicted by a grand jury).
The false-statement charge, brought under Section 1001 of the federal penal code, stems from Flynn’s conversation on December 29, 2016, with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak. At the time, Flynn was slated to become the national-security adviser to President-elect Donald Trump. The conversation occurred on the same day that then-president Barack Obama announced sanctions against Russia for its interference in the 2016 election. It is believed to have been recorded by the FBI because Kislyak, as an agent of a foreign power, was subject to monitoring under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
Mueller has charged Flynn with falsely telling FBI agents that he did not ask the ambassador “to refrain from escalating the situation” in response to the sanctions. In being questioned by the agents on January 24, 2017, Flynn also lied when he claimed he could not recall a subsequent conversation with Kislyak, in which the ambassador told Flynn that the Putin regime had “chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of [Flynn’s] request.”
While initial reporting is portraying Flynn’s guilty plea as a major breakthrough in Mueller’s investigation of potential Trump-campaign collusion with the Russian regime, I suspect the opposite is true.
TRUMP BODYGUARD KEITH SCHILLER TESTIFIES HE REJECTED RUSSIAN OFFER TO BRING WOMEN TO TRUMP’S HOTEL ROOM: “We don’t do that type of stuff.”
- Trump bodyguard Keith Schiller rejected Russian offer to “send five women” to Donald Trump’s hotel room in Moscow: “We don’t do that type of stuff.”
NBC News reports:
After a business meeting before the Miss Universe Pageant in 2013, a Russian participant offered to “send five women” to Donald Trump’s hotel room in Moscow, his longtime bodyguard told Congress this week, according to three sources who were present for the interview.
Two of the sources said the bodyguard, Keith Schiller, viewed the offer as a joke, and immediately responded, “We don’t do that type of stuff.”
The two sources said Schiller’s comments came in the context of him adamantly disputing the allegations made in the Trump dossier, written by a former British intelligence operative, which describes Trump having an encounter with prostitutes at the hotel during the pageant. Schiller he described his reaction to that story as being, “Oh my God, that’s bull—-,” two sources said.
[…]That night, two sources said, Schiller said he discussed the conversation with Trump as Trump was walking back to his hotel room, and Schiller said the two men laughed about it as Trump went to bed alone. Schiller testified that he stood outside Trump’s hotel room for a time and then went to bed.
PLANTED RUSSIAN LAWYER MET WITH FUSION GPS BEFORE AND AFTER MEETING WITH DONALD TRUMP JR. AT TRUMP TOWER
Fox News reports:
The opposition research firm has faced renewed scrutiny after litigation revealed that the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid for that research. Congressional Republicans have since questioned whether that politically financed research contributed to the FBI’s investigation of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – making Fusion’s 2016 contacts with Russian interests all the more relevant.
[…]But hours before the Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016, Fusion co-founder and ex-Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson was with Veselnitskaya in a Manhattan federal courtroom, a confidential source told Fox News. Court records reviewed by Fox News, email correspondence and published reports corroborate the pair’s presence together. The source told Fox News they also were together after the Trump Tower meeting.