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OH YES HE DID: Obama Used Fusion GPS Investigate Mitt Romney 

  • A new book claims former President Barack Obama hired Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Romney
  • Obama used law firm Perkins Coie to hide payment to Fusion GPS
  • The Clinton campaign would later do the same thing to investigate Trump

Chuck Ross reports: The Barack Obama presidential campaign hired Fusion GPS in 2012 to dig up dirt on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to a book released on Tuesday.

The Obama campaign hid its payments to Fusion GPS through its law firm, Perkins Coie. The arrangement is similar to the one that the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee used to pay Fusion for its investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016.

Dossier ‘coincidences’ pile up

That contract led to the creation of the infamous Steele dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele.

“In 2012, Fusion GPS was hired to do opposition research on Mitt Romney for Barack Obama’s reelection campaign,” reads “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and Donald Trump’s Election.” Read the rest of this entry »

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As Walls Close in on FBI, the Bureau Lashes Out at its Antagonists 

Sharyl Attkisson writes: What happens when federal agencies accused of possible wrongdoing — also control the alleged evidence against them? What happens when they’re the ones in charge of who inside their agencies — or connected to them — ultimately gets investigated and possibly charged?

Those questions are moving to the forefront as the facts play out in the investigations into our intelligence agencies’ surveillance activities.

There are two overarching issues.

First, there’s the alleged improper use of politically-funded opposition research to justify secret warrants to spy on U.S. citizens for political purposes.

Second, if corruption is ultimately identified at high levels in our intel agencies, it would necessitate a re-examination of every case and issue the officials touched over the past decade — or two — under administrations of both parties.

This is why I think the concerns transcend typical party politics.

It touches everybody. It’s potentially monumental.

This week, the FBI said it was unfair for the House Intelligence Committee not to provide its memo outlining alleged FBI abuses. The committee wrote the summary memo after reviewing classified government documents in the Trump-Russia probe.

The FBI’s complaint carries a note of irony considering that the agency has notoriously stonewalled Congress. Even when finally agreeing to provide requested documents, the Department of Justice uses the documents’ classified nature to severely restrict who can see them — even among members of Congress who possess the appropriate security clearance. Members who wish to view the documents must report to special locations during prescribed hours in the presence of Department of Justice minders who supervise them as they’re permitted to take handwritten notes only (you know, like the 1960s). Read the rest of this entry »


‘The Reasons for Chutkan’s Recusals Remain a Mystery’: Federal Judge Recuses Herself From A Second Fusion GPS Case

Tanya S. Chutkan, during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia. February 25, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Chuck Ross reports: A federal judge in Washington, D.C. has recused herself from a second case involving Trump dossier firm Fusion GPS.

Tanya S. Chutkan, an Obama appointee, recused herself on Monday from a case involving a dispute over subpoenas issued for Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned the dossier.

Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian tech executive accused in the dossier of hacking Democrats’ computer systems, has sought to subpoena Fusion GPS records and to depose its employees to find out more about the research firm’s work on the dossier.

Gubarev is suing BuzzFeed for defamation for publishing the dossier earlier this year. He denies the allegations laid out in the document, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele.

[Read the full story here, at The Daily Caller]

Chutkan recused herself last month from another case involving Fusion GPS. The firm had filed suit against its bank, TD Bank, to keep it from complying with a subpoena issued by the House Intelligence Committee, which sought Fusion’s bank records.

Chutkan presided over that case from Oct. 20 to Nov. 9. It was reassigned to Judge Richard Leon, a George W. Bush appointee. Since taking over the case, Leon has indicated that he plans to allow more transparency into the court proceedings involving the battle over Fusion’s bank records. He has ordered several documents be unsealed and made public.

Chutkan has presided over the case involving the lawsuit against BuzzFeed since Aug. 31. Her replacement is Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee who assumed office in October.

The reasons for Chutkan’s recusals remain a mystery. Read the rest of this entry »


Nothing to See Here, Move Along

The research firm that put together a dossier filled with unsubstantiated claims about Donald Trump hired a top DOJ official’s wife to dig up dirt on Trump … (read more)

Source: thefederalist.com


WOAH NELLIE: Wife of Demoted DOJ Official Worked for Firm Behind Anti-Trump Dossier

Bruce G. Ohr was demoted at the DOJ for concealing his meetings with the men behind the anti-Trump ‘dossier.’ (AP)

Investigators for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) confirmed that Nellie H. Ohr, wife of the demoted official, Bruce G. Ohr, worked for the opposition research firm last year.

James Rosen and Jake Gibson report: A senior Justice Department official demoted last week for concealing his meetings with the men behind the anti-Trump “dossier” had even closer ties to Fusion GPS, the firm responsible for the incendiary document, than has been disclosed, Fox News has confirmed: The official’s wife worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 election.

Contacted by Fox News, investigators for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) confirmed that Nellie H. Ohr, wife of the demoted official, Bruce G. Ohr, worked for the opposition research firm last year. The precise nature of Mrs. Ohr’s duties – including whether she worked on the dossier – remains unclear but a review of her published works available online reveals Mrs. Ohr has written extensively on Russia-related subjects. HPSCI staff confirmed to Fox News that she was paid by Fusion GPS through the summer and fall of 2016.

Fusion GPS has attracted scrutiny because Republican lawmakers have spent the better part of this year investigating whether the dossier, which was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, served as the basis for the Justice Department and the FBI to obtain FISA surveillance last year on a Trump campaign adviser named Carter Page.

“The House Intelligence Committee,” Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told Fox News in a statement on Monday, “is looking into all facets of the connections between the Department of Justice and Fusion GPS, including Mr. Ohr.”

Until Dec. 6, when Fox News began making inquiries about him, Bruce Ohr held two titles at DOJ. He was, and remains, director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force; but his other job was far more senior. Mr. Ohr held the rank of associate deputy attorney general, a post that gave him an office four doors down from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The day before Fox News reported that Mr. Ohr held his secret meetings last year with the founder of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, and with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the dossier, the Justice Department stripped Ohr of his deputy title and ousted him from his fourth floor office at the building that DOJ insiders call “Main Justice.”

Initially, DOJ officials provided no explanation for Ohr’s demotion. Later, they said his wearing of two hats was “unusual”; still later, they confirmed Ohr had withheld his contacts with the Fusion GPS men from superiors.

A senior Justice Department official demoted last week for concealing his meetings with the men behind the anti-Trump “dossier” had even closer ties to Fusion GPS, the firm responsible for the incendiary document, than has been disclosed, Fox News has confirmed: The official’s wife worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 election.

[Read the full story here, at Fox News]

Contacted by Fox News, investigators for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) confirmed that Nellie H. Ohr, wife of the demoted official, Bruce G. Ohr, worked for the opposition research firm last year. The precise nature of Mrs. Ohr’s duties – including whether she worked on the dossier – remains unclear but a review of her published works available online reveals Mrs. Ohr has written extensively on Russia-related subjects. HPSCI staff confirmed to Fox News that she was paid by Fusion GPS through the summer and fall of 2016.

Fusion GPS has attracted scrutiny because Republican lawmakers have spent the better part of this year investigating whether the dossier, which was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, served as the basis for the Justice Department and the FBI to obtain FISA surveillance last year on a Trump campaign adviser named Carter Page. Read the rest of this entry »


BOOM: Clinton Campaign, DNC Paid for Research That Led to Russia Dossier

Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele compiled the dossier on President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. (Victoria Jones/AP)

Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele compiled the dossier on President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. (Victoria Jones/AP)

Fusion GPS was hired by a Democratic lawyer acting on behalf of campaign and committee.

Adam Entous, Devlin Barrett and Rosalind S. Helderman report: The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

[MORE: FBI once planned to pay former British spy who authored controversial Trump dossier]

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

dossier.jpg

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the firm in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by a still unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’s research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day

[Read the full story here, at The Washington Post]

Fusion GPS gave Steele’s reports and other research documents to Elias, the people familiar with the matter said. It is unclear how or how much of that information was shared with the campaign and DNC, and who in those organizations was aware of the roles of Fusion GPS and Steele. One person close to the matter said the campaign and the DNC were not informed of Fusion GPS’s role by the law firm. Read the rest of this entry »