The same unverified, Russian-supplied, and Hillary Clinton-funded dossier that alleges wild and speculative claims about President Donald Trump keeps coming back to haunt key Democrats in politics and law enforcement. The latest Clinton flunkey to get caught up in the backlash surrounding the dossier is former Justice Department associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr, whose close ties to key figures related to the dossier has revealed a deep-seated partisan prejudice at play in the Trump-Russia collusion investigation.
Seizing on that bias during his opening monologue on Tuesday, Fox News host Sean Hannity pointed to recent congressional testimony from Ohr that demonstrates that the FBI deliberately withheld critical information from Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court judges to get permission to spy on the Trump campaign and sabotage the election.
Blowing the witch hunt wide open
“Tonight we are blowing this case about Bruce Ohr [and] FISA abuse wide open,” Hannity declared. Watch as he exposes the widespread abuses from “government bureaucrats” who sought “to steal, sway, rob an election and at all costs stop Donald Trump from winning and destroy his presidency”:
On Tuesday, congressional Republicans grilled Ohr for hours after learning that he served as the informal back channel to the FBI for Christopher Steele, the former British spy and author of the dossier who was forced to cut ties with the bureau after leaking the details of his controversial research to several media outlets.
In addition to maintaining contacts with Steele, Ohr is also married to a woman who worked for Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that contracted Steele to collect the dossier.
Despite this conflict of interest, the FBI failed to divulge the identity of Ohr’s wife to the FISA court during numerous applications for warrants to electronically monitor a Trump campaign official. Hannity called this secretive ploy another sign of the “FBI’s blatant effort to hide the true nature of the Clinton bought-and-paid-for, dirty Russian dossier.”
Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) sat in on Ohr’s closed-door testimony with six other Republican lawmakers and noted that “Ohr’s involvement with the Steele dossier was never disclosed.” Ohr said that he reviewed all four FISA applications from the FBI and failed to find any references to Ohr role in the investigation.
In the four FISA applications I reviewed in their full, unredacted form, Bruce Ohr’s involvement with the Steele dossier was never disclosed.
— John Ratcliffe (@RepRatcliffe) August 28, 2018
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who also attended the hearings, emerged after two hours of testimony to note: “Not only did the FBI know that the dossier was unverified, but they also knew that there were real credibility issues where it would never end up in a courtroom.”
In fact, Ratcliffe, who was interviewed by Hannity later on his show, said Ohr testified that he told a “half-dozen” senior FBI and DOJ officials about his relationship with Steele and his wife’s ties to Fusion GPS, but that information made it into the FISA applications. He said that federal investigators deliberately withheld “material facts” that would have been crucial to the judges’ decisions to approve the FISA warrants against the Trump campaign.
Hannity maintained that Trump was targeted by the Obama-era FBI and DOJ while Clinton was given a “free pass” in a “two-tiered justice system.”
He also referenced the more than 60 pages of communications recorded between Ohr and Steele that demonstrated that they were worried their plot would be foiled. After Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in 2017, Steele wrote to Ohr explaining that he was “very concerned [about] Comey’s firing — afraid they will be exposed.”
“And for good reason,” Hannity said, “because this level of corruption and abuse should make every single American citizen sick.”