DOJ Gave Embattled Bruce Ohr $42,520 in Bonuses After Being Demoted
Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr —who was a backchannel for the former British spy who compiled the anti-President Donald Trump dossier — received a total of $42,520 in performance bonuses from the Justice Department. He received those bonuses after being demoted for a conflict of interest and for not informing his superiors that his wife, Nellie Ohr, was working for the embattled research firm Fusion GPS, which hired former British spy Christoper Steele to compile the now debunked dossier.
According to documents unearthed by the government watchdog group Judicial Watch, after Ohr’s removal from his position as Associate Attorney General in 2017 and then later after his transfer from the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force to International Affairs in 2018, he “received a total of $42,520 in performance bonuses during the Trump/Russia investigation. Ohr’s bonus nearly doubled from $14,520 (received in November 2015) to $28,000 in November 2016.”
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch stressed that the documents “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.”
Judicial Watch filed for the documents in January, 2018 but it took more than a year for the documents to actually be obtained from the Justice Department, according to the group.
“The documents show that on November 13, 2016, Ohr was given a performance award of $28,000,” states the watchdog. “This was during the time of his deep involvement in the highly controversial Justice Department surveillance of the Trump presidential campaign. The bonus was nearly double the $14,250 performance award he was given on November 29, 2015.”
Ohr was removed from his Associate Deputy position due to conflict of interest because his wife, Nellie Ohr, was working exclusively for the founder of Fusion GPS Glenn Simpson on the Russia investigation. Nellie Ohr is a Russia expert, believed to speak Russian fluently and was also using her husband to pass information from Fusion GPS, as multiple emails obtained by Judicial Watch have shown.
She was a conduit for Fusion GPS material, as reported by Fox News.
“The documents show that Ohr was removed from his position as Associate Deputy Attorney General on December 6, 2017,” Judicial Watch states. “On January 7, 2018, Ohr was reassigned from his position of director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and shifted to Counselor for International Affairs in the Department of Justice Criminal Division. Ohr received a $2,600 pay increase.”
FROM JUDICIAL WATCH PRESS RELEASE BELOW
One of Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuits recently produced information from the DOJ showing a conversation between former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Kathleen Kavalec Bruce Ohr, discussing the targeting of Donald Trump with Steele dossier material. In discussing a meeting with the potential source for a Mother Jones article accusing the Trump campaign of taking money from a Russian-American oil magnate, as well as Christopher Steele’s connection to that source, Kavalec emails Ohr citing the accusatory Mother Jones article. Ohr says, “I really hope we can get something going here.”
Also, Judicial Watch obtained an email revealing that Nellie Ohr, wife of Bruce Ohr, informed him that she was deleting emails sent from his DOJ email account. The full email exchange is between Bruce Ohr, Lisa Holtyn, Nellie Ohr, and Stefan Bress, a first secretary at the German Embassy, and is part of 339 pages of heavily redacted records from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Judicial Watch uncovered emails from Ohr showing that he remained in regular contact with former British spy and Fusion GPS contractor Christopher Steele after Steele was terminated by the FBI in November 2016 for revealing to the media his position as an FBI confidential informant. The records show that Ohr served as a go-between for Steele by passing along information to “his colleagues” on matters relating to Steele’s activities. Ohr also set up meetings with Steele, regularly talked to him on the telephone and provided him assistance in dealing with situations Steele was confronting with the media.
Judicial Watch is suing the DOJ for communications between two of the pivotal players in the Deep State, anti-Trump collusion – former FBI official Peter Strzok and Ohr (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-01082)). Judicial Watch is challenging the Justice Department’s extraordinary claim that there are no records of communications between Strzok and Ohr in light of the preeminent role both individuals played in the Deep State effort to undermine the Trump campaign and administration. In addition, Ohr himself testified before Congress that he did, in fact, meet and communicate with Strzok.
Judicial Watch also seeks records about the agency’s involvement in persuading President Trump to defer his September 2018 decision to declassify DOJ documents related to the Russia investigation (Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-00507)). Judicial Watch’s lawsuit is also seeking DOJ official Ohr’s records of communications around the time of Trump’s declassification announcement.
Judicial Watch filed suit for details of the “302” reports from the FBI interview with Ohr. The interviews could be key to understanding how anti-Trump dossier author, British spy Christopher Steele’s information was transmitted to the FBI. (Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-02107)). The House Intelligence Committee memo released by Chairman Devin Nunes on February 2 says that his wife, Nellie Ohr, was “employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump” and that Bruce Ohr passed the results of that research, which was paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign, to the FBI.