The House Intelligence Committee plans to compel testimony from a career Justice Department attorney who met during the election campaign with the writer of the infamous unverified Trump-Russia dossier.
The committee has learned that Bruce Ohr, an associate attorney general, not only spoke with dossier writer Christopher Steele but also met after the election with Glenn Simpson, whose Fusion GPS hired Mr. Steele with Democratic Party money.
“Pursuant to the House Intelligence Committee’s prior subpoenas and information requests, the Department of Justice should have provided the committee with information on contacts that DOJ official Bruce Ohr had with Fusion GPS representatives and Christopher Steele.,” said committee chairman Devin Nunes, California Republican. “The Committee will issue a subpoena to Bruce Ohr for information on this matter.”
The committee is investigating Fusion’s financial arrangements, including the reasons for paying three journalists. It was Mr. Nunes’ first subpoena for Fusion bank records that forced Democrats to admit that the party and Hillary Clinton campaign paid for the dossier beginning in June 2016.
The dossier has taken on immense importance. The FBI relied on it in July 2016 to begin an investigation into the Trump campaign and any collusion with Russia over the hacking of Democratic Party computers. It relied on the dossier to obtain at least one eavesdropping warrant on a Trump associate.
The dossier contains salacious material and allegations of collusion against President Trump and his people, with Russia. None of those charges has been confirmed publicly.
Republicans have labeled the dossier a piece of fiction and demanded the FBI disclosed publicly how it was used to investigate Mr. Trump.
The top FBI agent over seeing the probe was Peter Strzok. He was removed last summer by Special Counsel Robert Mueller after investigators discovered he was sending anti-Trump pro-Hillary Clinton text messages to his lover
Republicans believe Mr. Strzok must have played a big role in getting the FBI to embrace the dossier.
Fox News first reported the Ohr subpoena. Fox said Mr. Ohr wore two hats at Justice. He led a drug enforcement task force and was a close aide to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He has relinquished the latter role, Fox said.
The Ohr investigation adds to suspicions among Republicans that a “deep state” of anti-Trump current and former federal officials have worked to sabotage Mr. Trump as candidate, president elect and president.
• Rowan Scarborough can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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