Ohr, who worked for Fusion GPS, the firm behind the Steele dossier, was scheduled to appear for interviews during a joint session with the House Judiciary and House Oversight & Government Reform committees. But two congressional sources said that she is not cooperating with the requests and will have to be subpoenaed to compel her appearance.
The sources also said that former FBI general counsel James Baker is not cooperating with the committees’ request for an interview.
“The Committee continues to seek the testimony of Nellie Ohr and Jim Baker and will compel their testimony if necessary,” an aide to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte told TheDCNF. –Daily Caller
Ohr’s cancellation comes on the heels of an order by President Trump to declassify Trump-Russia documents “immediately” and “without redaction,” including the text messages from several key players, including Ohr’s husband, twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr.
Nellie Ohr, a Russia expert who speaks fluent Russian, was set to discuss her work for opposition reserarch firm Fusion GPS – which employed her from December 2015 until right after the 2016 US election as part of their anti-Trump efforts. In 2010, she represented the CIA’s “Open Source Works” expert working group, along with her husband Bruce and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.
Nellie Ohr, the wife of demoted DOJ official, Bruce Ohr, not only worked for Fusion GPS, but has also represented the CIA’s “Open Source Works” group. https://t.co/u5HPgJwvWd pic.twitter.com/ZPhAIzR6wv
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) December 12, 2017
Notably, the Ohrs had extensive contact with Christopher Steele, the ex-MI6 spy who authored the salacious anti-Trump dossier used to justify spying on the Trump campaign during the election, and later to smear Donald Trump right before he took office in 2017. According to emails turned over to Congress and reported in late August, the Ohrs would have breakfast with Steele on July 30 at the downtown D.C. Mayflower hotel – days after Steele had turned in several installments of the infamous dossier to the FBI. The breakfast took place one day before the FBI/DOJ launched operation “Crossfire Hurricane,” the codename for the official counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.
“Great to see you and Nellie this morning Bruce,” Steele wrote shortly following their breakfast meeting. “Let’s keep in touch on the substantive issues/s (sic). Glenn is happy to speak to you on this if it would help,” referring to Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.
Ohr’s contacts with Steele increased after the FBI cut ties with the dossier author just before the election because of unauthorized contacts with the press. Ohr provided at least a dozen briefings to the FBI about his interactions with Steele from November 2016 to May 2017. –Daily Caller
Congressional GOP have repeatedly questioned why the FBI continued to rely on Ohr as a backchannel from Steele after they determined that the former UK spy was unfit to remain a confidential source over improper media disclosures.
Oddly, Nellie Ohr also became a Ham radio enthusiast late in life – which some have surmised may have been a method of communicating in the Trump-Russia probe without being surveilled by the NSA or other government agencies.
was Nellie Ohr’s late-in-life foray into ham radio an effort to evade the Rogers-led NSA detecting her participation in compiling the Russian-sourced Steele dossier? Just as her husband’s omissions on his DOJ ethics forms raise an inference of improper motive, any competent prosecutor could use the circumstantial evidence of her taking up ham radio while digging for dirt on Trump to prove her consciousness of guilt and intention to conceal illegal activities. –The Federalist
Looks like by avoiding her Friday testimony, Nellie Ohr will buy time to get her story straight, after a subpoena – and ostensibly after whatever new information will be brought to light resulting from Trump’s declassification order.