Washington watchdog Judicial Watch has been heavily invested in holding the government accountable in its investigations of alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign in the 2016 election.
Judicial Watch has demanded records from the government related to the anti-Trump “dossier” produced by a former British spy that was funded by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The dossier was used by the FBI to obtain permission to spy on the Trump campaign.
The watchdog has probed former FBI director James Comey’s book deal and the FBI agents who discussed an “insurance policy” against Trump becoming president.
Now, Judicial Watch has filed two Freedom of Information lawsuits against the Justice Department for refusing to provide information about former DOJ official Bruce Ohr and his wife, Nellie Ohr, a former CIA employee with expertise on Russia who worked for the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS to help compile the dossier.
Bruce Ohr was demoted from his position as the fourth-highest ranking official at DOJ when his wife’s role in the dossier was discovered.
The House Intelligence Committee memo released by chairman Devin Nunes on Feb. 2 concluded that Bruce Ohr was in regular contact with the British spy, Christopher Steele, and that Nellie Ohr gave information from the dossier to her husband, who passed it on to the FBI.
Judicial Watch pointed out it’s illegal to submit unverified information to a FISA court, which apparently is what was done.
Judicial Watch said it filed the lawsuits in Washington after the DOJ refused to respond.
It is seeking, regarding Bruce Ohr, details of his communications with Steele, Fusion GPS owner Glenn Simpson and others, as well as travel requests and calendar entries.
For his wife, the government wants her records of communication with the attorney general’s office, Fusion GPS and others.
Nunes’ memo said that in September 2016, Steele admitted to Ohr his feelings against then-candidate Trump when Steele said he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”
The House Intelligence Committee memo by the Republican majority said “clear evidence of Steele’s bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files – but not reflected in any of the [Carter] Page FISA applications.”
Fox News reported that even after Steele’s termination from the FBI, Steele and Ohr remained in close contact.
“Once again, the Deep State Justice Department is covering up evident misconduct targeting President Trump,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “A top Justice Department official in the Obama administration had an obvious conflict of interest through his wife Nellie’s work with the Clinton/DNC vendor Fusion GPS on the anti-Trump Dossier. The Justice Department needs to come clean about this scandal and turn over the documents as federal law requires.”
WND reported that when Bruce Ohr gave information to the FBI regarding the anti-Trump “dossier,” he did not disclose that it was based on opposition research funded by the Democratic Party.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported the documents show that Ohr also failed to obtain a conflict of interest waiver from his Justice Department superiors regarding his wife.