A senior Justice Department lawyer says a former British spy told him at a breakfast meeting two years ago that Russian intelligence believed it had Donald Trump "over a barrel", according to multiple people familiar with the encounter. Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade says it may explain President Trump's recent criticism of Ohr. Ohr is a Department of Justice official who has been at the agency for nearly three decades.
That revelation prompted the FBI to open the counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016, one day after the breakfast but based on entirely different information. At the time of the 2016 presidential election, he was a high-ranking official in the deputy attorney general's office.
Former associate deputy U.S. attorney general Bruce Ohr enters an elevator after testifying behind closed doors before the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform Committees on his alleged contacts with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson and former British spy Christopher Steele, who compiled a "dossier" of allegations linking Donald Trump to Russian Federation, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., August 28, 2018.
"Will Bruce Ohr, whose family received big money for helping to create the phony, dirty and discredited Dossier, ever be fired from the Jeff Sessions "Justice" Department?"
By the time the Federal Bureau of Investigation received the dossier the agency had already started its probe of Russian interference in the campaign, which the Kremlin denies.
Goodlatte was not present for the interview with Ohr, which was held Aug. 28 during the House's August recess. Trump supporters accuse Ohr of cooperating with Steele on the dossier that outlined Russian financial ties and salacious personal details.
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Weissman is a Democrat partisan who attended Hillary Clinton's election night party and thanked then-acting attorney general Sally Yates in January 2017 after she defied President Trump's travel ban order.
Ironically, one of the sources said Weissmann was kept "in the loop" on the fraudulent dossier while he was head of the criminal fraud division. They met in the mid-2000s, people who know Ohr said, as both fought against the evolving threat of Russian organized crime for their respective countries.
Sessions and Rosenstein, Ohr was told, didn't want him in the post because it entailed White House meetings and interactions, the people said.
In a tweet Thursday, the president claimed Nellie is a Russian Federation expert who can fluently speak the language.
A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.