Guest post by Larry C. Johnson
If you have not had time to peruse the redacted Bruce Ohr 302s (a FD-302 is the report an FBI agent enters into the FBI records system after interviewing a source) here you go. Your own reader’s digest version. These are presented chronologically. Note, there are two or three dates associated with each report. The first is the date that the interview took place. The other two is either the date the report was drafter and/or entered into the FBI computer system).
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In reviewing these 302s there are some salient points I want to bring to your attention.
First, Christopher Steele was terminated as an FBI Confidential Human Source at the end of September 2016 for leaking to the press. That should have put an end to the relationship. Instead, the FBI starts using Bruce Ohr, the number four guy at the Department of Justice, as a cutout. Absolutely no justification for this kind of behavior by the FBI. It is, at a minimum, unethical and creates a real problem if any of the info collected from Ohr was to be used in a court proceeding. Something known as the “fruit of the poisonous tree” would kick in and the so-called evidence proffered by Ohr would be inadmissible or unusable because of Steele’s previous lies to the FBI.
Second, Glenn Simpson played a huge role in helping spread anti-Trump propaganda generated by Steele. In fact, it was Simpson’s insistence on Steele speaking with the press that got Steele terminated as an FBI source.
Third, the FBI knew by mid-December 2016 that Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie, was working with Simpson and Steele. This too should have set off alarm bells about the potential conflicts of interest and unethical conduct.
Fourth, evidence used ultimately against Paul Manafort came from Nellie Ohr. If this was not disclosed to Manafort’s attorney’s there is a likely Brady violation, which bolster’s Manafort’s prospects for an appeal.
Fifth, Steele and Simpson made several claims of fact about Russia ties to the Trump campaign that were later proven to be false. For example, stating that Michael Cohen was in Prague meeting the Russians. Important to note that Christopher Steele produced the final report of the so-called dossier bearing his name on 13 December 2016 yet this information was “passed” to Ohr one day prior to the date on the report.
Sixth, the “debriefing” of Ohr on 12 December 2016 also provided the foundation for going after Marina Butina. (See Sara Carter’s excellent update on this case here). The false information from Steele/Simpson via Bruce Ohr became the pretext for launching an investigation of Butina, who was working for a wealthy Russian banker, Alexander Torshin. This too turns out to have been a fabrication. I believe this provides Butina’s attorneys more ammunition for arguing prosecutorial misconduct and failure to provide critical Brady material.
And finally, Fusion GPS, which was hired on behalf of the Clinton Campaign, was regularly communicating and coordinating with Obama’s Department of Justice and Department of State. This was a complete abuse of power.
Now, here is the summary of the 302s:
11/22/2016 (entered on 12/19/2006)
Ohr met with Steele in 2007 (not sure of date) at a conference.
July 30, 2016 Steele met Ohr for breakfast. Steele claimed Carter Page had met with Russian Sechin at a conference.
States that Glenn Simpson hired Steele and Ohr’s wife to dig up dirt on Trump’s connections to Russia.
Noted that reporting was going to the Clinton Campaign, Jonathan Winer and the FBI.
Ohr met with Steele in late September and was told about Alfa Bank ties to Trump and the Sergei Millian organization.
Noted that Steele was desperate to stop Trump and to thwart the Kremlin.
Ohr knew that Glenn Simpson and “others” were meeting with Victoria Nuland.
12/05/2016 (entered on 12/19/2016) (drafted on 12/12/2016)
Glenn Simpson directed Christopher Steele to speak to the press, including David Corn at Mother Jones.
Ohr provided FBI info on Manafort Chronology prepared by his wife.
12/12/2016 (entered on 12/19/2016) (Drafted on 12/14/2016)
Ohr states, per Simpson, that Cohen replaced Manafort and Page as the contact with the Russians.
Says that Cohen met with Russians in Prague.
Claims that Torshin is a Russian mobster and is trying to infiltrate the NRA and was pushing money to Trump.
Simpson opined that Sergei Millian was an SVR officer and a link to Trump.
12/20/2016 (entered on 12/27/2016)
Thumb drive with Nelly Ohr’s research passed to FBI.
1/23/2017 (entered on 1/31/2017) (drafted on 1/25/2017)
Simpson tells Ohr a source will be outed in the coming days.
Steele claims he met with a McCain staffer prior to October 2016
1/25/017 (entered on 1/27/2017)
Ohr spoke with Steele on 25 January 2017.
1/27/2017 (entered on 1/27/2017)
Steele told Ohr he wanted to keep lines of communication open.
02/06/2017 (entered on 02/08/2017)
Ohr contacted by Steele via What’sApp on 31 January 2017. Was reacting to firing of Sally Yates. Worried that if Ohr got fired he would have no one to talk to.
“Interviewing agents asked Ohr to ask Steele if he would be comfortable getting the name of an FBI agent.”
Ohr reminded agents that Steele had spoken several times prior to 2016 Presidential election with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec. Ohr identified one of the sources for Steele’s report as a Ukranian.
02/14/2017 (entered on 02/15/2017)
Ohr tells FBI about Steele’s concerns about his business. Identifies other lawyer (name blacked out) he is working with. Steele is preparing a proposal to re-establish his business releationship with the FBI.
05/08/2017 (entered on 05/10/2017)
Steele tells Ohr that he is worried about Comey’s upcoming testimony. Ohr tells Steele what Comey will say and Steele is “happy.”
Ohr said that Glenn Simpson would be visiting Steele soon.
Jonathan Winer was bringing a letter to Steele.