News & Politics

Trump Says He'll Yank DOJ Official Bruce Ohr's Security Clearance 'Very Quickly'

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that he expects to “quickly” revoke the security clearance for Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, calling his continued presence at the DOJ a “disgrace.”

According to Fox News, Trump also boasted that he received a “tremendous response” after he yanked former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance earlier this week.

“I suspect I’ll be taking it away very quickly,” Trump said. “I think that Bruce Ohr is a disgrace with his wife, Nellie. For him to be at the Justice Department, and to be doing what he did, that is a disgrace.”

The president was referring to Nellie Ohr, who worked for Fusion GPS, the Democrat opposition research firm involved in producing the salacious and unverified dirty dossier during the 2016 campaign.

Trump added that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is also “highly conflicted.”

“Let him write his report. We did nothing. There’s no collusion!” the president said. He noted that Mueller should be investigating people like “Bruce Ohr, and his wife Nellie for dealing with, by the way, indirectly Russians.” As for  Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy who authored the dirty dossier, Trump said, “They should be looking at Steele.”

Congressional Republican investigators now consider Bruce Ohr to be a central figure in the SpyGate scandal, due to his many contacts with Steele during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The investigators have found that Ohr, who was the fourth-highest ranking official in the DOJ at the time, acted as an intermediary between Steele (after he was terminated as an FBI source) and the FBI as it investigated Steele’s allegations about the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia.

After Steele was caught leaking details from the dirty dossier to the media in 2016, the FBI had to stop using him as a confidential source. But even after the election and well after Trump’s inauguration, the FBI continued to use Ohr as a backchannel to Steele.

Steele also worked with Ohr to help Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska obtain a U.S. visa in the same time period he was compiling the anti-Trump dossier. Deripaska had his visa revoked by the State Department in 2006 due to concerns about his links to organized crime.

In January of 2018, Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senator Graham (R-S.C.) referred Steele to the  DOJ for criminal investigation.

Ohr was demoted last December, but remains employed at the DOJ.