by Chuck Ross
North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows referred Nellie Ohr, a former Fusion GPS contractor, to the Justice Department for criminal investigation on Wednesday.
In a letter to Attorney General William Barr first reported by The Hill, Meadows alleged that Ohr made false statements to Congress on Oct. 19 about contacts she had with Justice Department officials regarding ongoing investigations, as well as about her research into alleged Russian organized crime figures.
Ohr worked as a contractor for Fusion GPS, the firm behind the Steele dossier, from late 2015 through September 2016. Her husband is Bruce Ohr, the Justice Department official who served as dossier author Christopher Steele’s back channel to the FBI.
Meadows is not accusing Ohr of lying about her work with Fusion or her contacts with Steele. Instead, the Republican pointed to Ohr’s claim in her interview that she “would not have any knowledge of what [was] going on in an ongoing investigation” at the Justice Department and that she did not have “any knowledge of the Department of Justice’s investigations on Russia.”
Ohr also denied that she provided information from her research into Russian organized crime figures and Donald Trump to anyone outside of Fusion GPS, her husband, or Steele, who was a former MI6 officer.
“However, documents reviewed by our committees raise concerns Ms. Ohr not only had knowledge of an ongoing DOJ investigation, but that she shared information and research on Russian organized crime to assist DOJ, in direct contradiction with her testimony,” said Meadows.
The Republican cited a March 23, 2016, email that DOJ official Lisa Holtyn sent Bruce Ohr asking whether his wife would be able to speak with DOJ officials Ivana Nizich and Joe Wheatley regarding an ongoing agency investigation.
Nellie Ohr agreed to meet with the officials, according to the email thread.
Ohr also shared research about an alleged Russian mafia boss, Shakro, which Meadows says contradicts her testimony.
“Taking these communications into account, in addition to other information we have reviewed, Ms. Ohr misled the committees when she testified she would not have any knowledge of what was going on in an ongoing DOJ investigation, and that she had not shared her research outside of Fusion GPS, her husband, and Christopher Steele,” said Meadows, the ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s subcommittee on government operations.
Meadows hinted Tuesday that Republicans were preparing criminal referrals for “two or three” individuals connected to Fusion GPS.
Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, has been accused by Republican lawmakers of lying to Congress about the timing of his contacts with Bruce Ohr.
When asked by lawmakers whether he met any FBI or Justice Department officials in 2016, Simpson said that he met Ohr only after the 2016 election. But Ohr said otherwise during testimony before lawmakers on Aug. 28, 2018. He said he and Simpson met on Aug. 22, 2016 in Washington, D.C. to discuss Fusion’s investigation into the Trump campaign.
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