Did DOJ Reward Bruce Ohr for Targeting President Trump?

Time for prosecutor John Durham to follow the money.

“Bruce Ohr, the Justice Department official whose connection to the opposition research firm responsible for the anti-Trump ‘dossier’ led to his eventual demotion, was awarded a $28,000 performance bonus while the Russia probe was ongoing.”

That is from a June 7 report by Alex Pappas of Fox News, based on “newly released DOJ documents.” Those documents do not indicate why Ohr received the bonus, but they do reveal the DOJ man also bagged a $14,520 bonus the year before. The DOJ documents, in turn, were not produced by any congressional committee, the DOJ inspector general, or some government whistleblower.

The documents were the result of a Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch, “a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation” that “promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.” The group uses the open records or freedom of information laws and other tools “to hold to account politicians and public officials who engage in corrupt activities.”

As president Tom Fitton explained, “These documents will raise questions as to whether the conflicted Bruce Ohr, who the FBI used to launder information from Christopher Steele was rewarded for his role in the illicit targeting of President Trump.”

Bruce Ohr rose from obscurity in 2016, when it became known he was embedded with Fusion GPS, compiler of the dossier on Donald Trump. Bruce’s wife Nellie H. Ohr also worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 election, and quite possibly played a strategic role.

Nellie Ohr earned a degree in history and Russian literature at Harvard and Radcliff, followed by an MA and PhD in history from Stanford. She taught history at Vassar College then worked as an independent contractor conducting research and translation projects on topics in Russian science and technology. Nellie also honed her Russian language skills on location.

She was there in 1989, as Cathy Frierson noted in Adventures in Russian Historical Research Reminiscences of American Scholars from the Cold War to the Present. “Only rarely did I go to the Lenin Library,” Frierson recalled, “but one day there I had a fortuitous meeting with Nellie Hauke Ohr. She told me she had just returned from Smolensk, where she enjoyed remarkable access in the region archive to materials related to the collectivization campaign.” 

Nellie has also worked in the cybersecurity consulting branch of the politically connected firm Accenture. She once gave a presentation on “Ties Between Government Intelligence Services and Cyber Criminals – Closer Than You Think?” So the multifaceted Nellie Ohr is a woman for all seasons. 

In the spring of 2016, Nellie came to work for Fusion GPS, and as former Naval intelligence officer J.E. Dyer notes, “she looks like an ideal hire for what Fusion GPS needed in 2016: plugged directly into the DOJ, and with a language facility in Russian.” And of course, Nellie had clout with Russian officials. In May of 2016, about the time Fusion GPS brought Nellie aboard, and a key time for the dossier, Nellie suddenly obtained an amateur radio operator’s license.

Dyer believes it significant that the cyber intrusion on the DNC email system was detected on April 29, 2016. Without getting fanciful, Dyer writes, “one can obviously think of more than one reason why the use of amateur radio for communications with certain parties might have seemed like a good idea at that point, to at least some of the people involved.” As Dyer says “only a fool would fail to look into it.”

The US intelligence community includes some17 agencies and only a fool would fail to see if at least one had picked up what Nellie said and heard on her radio set. The Sovietophile scholar was the perfect contact to collude with the Russians.

As Jerry Dunleavy of the Washington Examiner noted, Nellie Ohr met with anti-Trump former British spy Christopher Steele the day before the FBI launched its Trump-Russia investigation. While with Fusion GPS, testimony revealed, she researched possible Trump-Russia connections, but Nellie Ohr “declined to answer most questions about her husband, who served as an unofficial back channel between Steele and the FBI.”

Bruce Ohr got performance bonuses during the Russia collusion probe, and in 2017 he lost his job as Associate Deputy Attorney General. In 2018, as the DOJ documents obtained by Judidial Watch also reveal, Bruce Ohr received a $2,600 pay raise. So maybe his rewards were ongoing.

Meanwhile, was anybody else in the DOJ, FBI, or CIA similarly rewarded for the illicit targeting of President Trump? John Durham, the prosecutor tasked by Attorney General Barr to investigate the origins of the Russia probe, might get some pay records for John Brennan, who in 1976 voted for the Stalinist Gus Hall, presidential candidate of the Communist Party, and never should have been hired by the CIA in the first place.

The pay records of James Comey, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok might also be of interest, along with members of Robert Mueller’s team, including Mueller himself. Only a fool would fail to look into it.

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