Last Sunday Representative Darrell Issa was being interviewed by Maria Bartiromo about the testimony of Bruce Ohr when Issa innocuously said that Nellie Ohr was working for Fusion GPS in 2015. Previous to that statement by Issa the timeline for Nellie Ohr working with Fusion GPS began in April of 2016 (simultaneous to Fusion beginning the contract work for the Clinton Campaign and sub-contracting of Chris Steele).
If the 2015 date was correct, this was a big deal; a VERY BIG deal. Well, today amid other revelations within an excellent report by Chuck Ross at the Daily Caller, the 2015 date is confirmed:
[…] Republicans pressed Ohr about how his wife, a Russia expert named Nellie Ohr, came to work for Fusion GPS.
Ohr testified that Fusion approached his wife for a job and that she began working for the research firm in late 2015. California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa said Ohr testified that his wife was paid $44,000 by Fusion GPS. As TheDCNF has reported, Ohr did not disclose his wife’s Fusion income on his annual ethics disclosure form.
Perkins Coie, the law firm for the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, paid Fusion GPS more than $1 million for the Trump-Russia project. Fusion paid Steele nearly $170,000 for his work. (read more)
If Nellie Ohr began working for FusionGPS in “late 2015”, an entire set of prior suspicions now gains a lot more traction. We have long suspected that Fusion-GPS was one of the contractors with access to the FBI/NSA database. The contractors were conducting political opposition research by exploiting the FISA 702(16)(17) process which would be available for counterintelligence purposes; hence the DOJ-National Security Division.
(link to pdf)
From November 1, 2015, to May 1st, 2016, thousands of search queries were conducted with a “non-compliance rate of 85%”. That means the “contractors” were massively abusing their access to the database; and a full 85% of their activity was demonstrably unlawful.
It is highly likely, almost certain, all of this unlawful query activity was political opposition research being conducted by political operatives, agents and DOJ/FBI affiliates within the apparatus. Fusion GPS seems like an obvious organization who would be participating in that activity. Adding to this likelihood we now have Nellie Ohr working within this exact timeline.
We have also found significant connections between those contractor database queries and downstream results which appear to show up in the external investigative material presented by Fusion-GPS contractor Christopher Steele, (ie. Cohen in Prague).
Not a single congressional hearing has ever questioned the FISA search issues. Not a single question to a single witness, specifically Comey or Yates, ever asked them about the DOJ-NSD and FBI abuse of the FISA database.
The origin of almost all of the corruption seems to consistently circle back to the abuse of the FBI and NSA database which is very much documented and never subject to being refuted. Yet for some reason I cannot fathom, the historic FISA surveillance/search abuse issue is never brought up by anyone, any investigative authority, in any aspect of this ongoing storyline.
It all starts with abuses of the FISA system for political opposition research; yet we never hear a single voice calling attention to the DOJ-NSD and FBI abuse of this system.
Additionally within the report today from Chuck Ross is this:
[…] Sources familiar with Ohr’s testimony before the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Ohr informed Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page about his interactions with Steele and Simpson. He also informed Justice Department prosecutor Andrew Weissmann about his dossier-related work.
Weissmann is now serving as right-hand man to Robert Mueller at the special counsel’s office.
Ohr testified that he informed his Justice Department peers, but not his superiors, about his contacts with Steele and Simpson. One of the superiors kept out of the loop was former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. Ohr said he was demoted as assistant deputy attorney general in December because he failed to tell Yates and other top officials about his dossier interactions. (more)
Again, this connects a circle of information. You might remember back in July there was another report of Andrew Weissman working in collaboration with four AP reporters.
The July article surrounded a discovery that Robert Mueller’s lead attorney Andrew Weissmann worked with four AP journalists on both the story of Paul Manafort’s business interests; and, more importantly, and jaw-droppingly, the evidence for Mueller to use against Paul Manafort.
The gist of the story is that Andrew Weissmann was meeting with AP reporters in April of 2017, approximately a month prior to the formal construct of the Robert Mueller investigation. The information from the meeting, which was essentially based on research provided by the “reporters” about Paul Manafort, was then later used in the formation of the underlying evidence against Manafort to gain a search warrant.
We suspect those AP reporters were part of the Fusion GPS network. To understand the implications we must overlay a set of facts that has perplexed CTH for almost a year. Back in April 2017 Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, declassified a FISA court ruling that had/has massive potential implications. The 99-page ruling, written by FISA Court Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer, outlined structural issues and admissions by the DOJ and FBI about violations of search queries within the NSA and FBI database.
Essentially, the underlying evidence within the Collyer FISA report, outlines how the DOJ National Security Division (John P Carlin), FBI and NSA (Admiral Mike Rogers) informed the court that unauthorized access to the NSA/FBI database had been ongoing for a long period of time. The “unauthorized access” was primarily driven by contractors who had access to the information database and were using it in 2015 and 2016. According to the report over 85% of searches conducted were “unauthorized” abuses of the system. DOJ-NSD head John Carlin resigned in 2016 immediately after informing the court.
Since the discovery of this issue a great deal of disconnected information has followed. Including how FBI Director James Comey allowed his friend Daniel Richman to have “special access” to this information database.
The term “contractors” is opaque in the ruling, and there are hundreds of redactions protecting the names of the individuals and groups who participated in the unauthorized searches. However, within the testimony of Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson; and the story of the Steele Dossier and Nellie Ohr; we discover a nexus of information users.
Fusion GPS was/is essentially in the ‘information for hire‘ business, selling to clients for a price and using networks of journalists and former government officials to transmit, share and disseminate information on behalf of their clients. Essentially, Fusion GPS is an opposition research group with a network of journalists, paid and unpaid, that it uses to frame constructed narratives to the benefit of their clients. In the spring, summer and fall of 2016, the Hillary Clinton campaign was one such client.
In April 2017, at the time of this meeting with AP reporters, Andrew Weissmann was chief of the Justice Department’s criminal fraud section. Weissmann joined the special counsel a month later, May 2017.
We already know the FISA searches were essentially political opposition research being conducted by these opaque ‘contractors’. We know the ideology within the DOJ-NSD and FBI, the generic intent of their motive, from the communication amid the group doing the Clinton and Trump investigations; text messages, memos and emails which have since become public.
A common sense review of all facts outlines a strong likelihood these database searches were ongoing by groups and individuals affiliated with Fusion GPS and other political networks. It’s a simple process of selling information.
This information pipeline from Fusion to Bruce Ohr to Andrew Weissmann, in combination with the meeting between Weissmann and AP reporters, is essentially another round of same-method manufacturing of evidence; it is a collaborative effort.
In the first example where the Fusion-GPS information circle was exploited, the FBI gained a FISA Title-1 search warrant against Carter Page. In the second example of an almost identical information flow the result was Special Counsel Robert Mueller gaining search warrants against Paul Manafort.