Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calf.) told Fox News Tuesday that career Justice Department official Bruce Ohr gave Republican House investigators “critical” information about FBI malfeasance during a closed-door hearing Tuesday, adding that the Ohr “named names.”
But there were also conflicts between what Ohr said and what former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson told the joint panel, Issa maintained.
Several members of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees — including Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) — attended the hearing as part of their investigation into potential bias and abuse of power among U.S. law enforcement during the 2016 election.
Republicans have been examining Ohr’s role in getting British spy Christopher Steele’s now infamous dirty dossier into the hands of senior FBI officials.
According to Roll Call, “Democratic lawmakers and most of the roughly three-dozen Republicans on the joint panel, still back home doing district work, did not attend, though some of their staff did.”
After the hearing, Issa said the interview helped investigators see the link between Ohr and other officials, who were “desperate to stop candidate Trump from being President Trump both before and after he became the president-elect.”
The former House Oversight Committee chairman pointed out that although Ohr claims to have been nonpartisan during the 2016 election, his wife Nellie Ohr was working with Fusion GPS on the anti-Trump dirty dossier.
Ohr did provide one critical piece of information, according to Issa: Ohr did disclose his wife’s role in the affair to FBI officials “and he named names,” but the information never got back to the Department of Justice or apparently his boss. More importantly, Issa pointed out that the disclosure was left off of the FISA warrants which were used to spy on the Trump campaign.
Asked whether Bruce Ohr was cooperating with congressional investigators, Issa replied, “Bruce has a poor memory. He seems to not remember a lot of details.”
But the bottom line, according to Issa, is that Ohr did something he should never have done — which was to become part of an investigation that was funded by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton and pursued by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, both of whom obviously had great animus toward Trump.
According to Issa, Ohr told the panel that never in his 30-year career had he ever been involved in something like this.
“Before the election, our government was involved in opposition research against candidate Trump. After the election, after he was the president-elect, the famous insurance policy went into effect that clearly led to the special prosecutor and the investigation we’re now seeing,” he explained.
Issa noted that many people, including he himself, were willing to trust the special counsel at the beginning of its probe — “not knowing all the lies the American people and Congress had been told.”
Issa also said that inconsistency between the testimonies of Bruce Ohr and Glenn Simpson were “significant,” and added that there is also “ambiguity between Ohr and Lisa Page,” so further interviews are needed to decide which ones need to change their stories or face perjury charges.
“Either Bruce Ohr’s lying or Glenn Simpson’s lying… about their contacts with one another and the exchange of evidence,” Rep Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said, according to Roll Call.