To the fomenters of the coup against Donald Trump in the CIA, FBI and DOJ, we can add at least one high-ranking State Department official.
We have released four pages of documents from the U.S. Department of Justice showing a conversation between former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Kathleen Kavalec and former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, discussing the targeting of Donald Trump with Steele dossier material.
In discussing a meeting with the potential source for a Mother Jones article accusing the Trump campaign of taking money from a Russian-American oil magnate, as well as Christopher Steele’s connection to that source, Kavalec emails Ohr citing the accusatory Mother Jones article. Ohr says, “I really hope we can get something going here.”
We obtained the records through our August 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the Justice Department after it failed to respond to a May 29, 2018, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-01854)) for some key documents:
- All records from the Office of the Deputy Attorney General relating to Fusion GPS, Nellie Ohr and/or British national Christopher Steele, including but not limited to all records of communications about and with Fusion GPS officials, Nellie Ohr and Christopher Steele.
- All records from the office of former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce G. Ohr relating to Fusion GPS, Nellie Ohr and/or British national Christopher Steele, including but not limited to all records of communications (including those of former Associate Deputy Attorney General Ohr) about and with Fusion GPS officials, Nellie Ohr and Christopher Steele.
- All records from the office of the Director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force relating to Fusion GPS, Nellie Ohr and/or British national Christopher Steele, including but not limited to all records of communications (including those of former Organized Crime Task Force Director Bruce Ohr) about and with Fusion GPS officials, Nellie Ohr and Christopher Steele.
In a November 21, 2016, email exchange Kavalec thanks Bruce Ohr for “coming by” to discuss the work of the OCDETF (Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force).
Kavalec provides Ohr with links to Mother Jones and Open Secrets articles that suggest a Russian-American oil magnate gave money to Trump’s campaign. Ohr responds, “I really hope we can get something going here.… We will take another look at this.”
Kavalec then replies to Ohr, saying that she had just reviewed the notes from her October 2016 meeting with Steele stating, “I see Chris [Steele] said [Simon] Kukes has [sic] some connection to Serge Millian.” Millian is a Belarus-born businessman who was an alleged source for the anti-Trump dossier. He developed a relationship with Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos in 2016.
Kavalec recently came to national attention when her notes from her October 11, 2016, meeting with Dossier author Steele were revealed. In her notes, Kavalec said Steele told her of “a technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election.” In Kavalec’s notes, she disputes some of the details asserted by Steele—indicating these were both researched, and disproven. Kavalec reported her findings directly to the FBI.
These documents are a shocking example of the Deep State plotting against President Trump – just weeks after he was elected. There’s now no doubt that Bruce Ohr and the Obama State Department were working the Clinton gang to target President Trump.
Nellie Ohr Deleted Emails Exchanged with DOJ Husband Bruce Ohr
Hillary Clinton wasn’t the only one who felt it necessary to get rid of emails. Bruce and Nellie Ohr also were so inclined with emails from Bruce Ohr sent to her from his official DOJ account.
We just released what seems like a smoking-gun email revealing that Nellie informed her husband that she was deleting emails sent from his DOJ email account.
From: Nellie Ohr
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 12:49 PM
To: Ohr, Bruce (ODAG)
Subject: Re: Analyst Russian Organized Crime – April 2016
Thanks! I’m deleting these emails now
We obtained the records thanks to our March 2018 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed after the Justice Department failed to respond a December 2017 request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00490)).
Nellie Ohr may be referring to an email exchange is between Bruce Ohr, Lisa Holtyn, Nellie Ohr, and Stefan Bress, a first secretary at the German Embassy. (The material was uncovered by us in 339 pages of heavily redacted records produced to us by the Justice Department.)
Nellie Ohr’s email has the same subject line as an email exchange with the subject line “Analyst Russian Organized Crime – April 2016” in which Bress initiates a discussion with Bruce Ohr and his top aide, Lisa Holtyn, proffering some “Russian analysts” to discuss a variety of topics with Ohr, Holtyn, and other DOJ officials. Among those topics to be discussed is “Impact of Russian influence operations in Europe (‘PsyOps/InfoWar’).”
Holtyn responds with, “I haven’t had a chance to confer with Bruce yet, but would certainly love to meet with the ‘A Team’!” Bruce Ohr then says, “That time works for me as well.” Bress then provides the personal details/passport numbers of the German analysts who will be meeting with Holtyn and Ohr. Holtyn tells Bress that the Ohr’s would like to host the German delegation for dinner and notes that Joe Wheatley and Ivana Nizich (a husband/wife team of DOJ Organized Crime prosecutors and friends of the Ohr’s) would join them as well.
Until he was demoted for his connection to the anti-Trump dossier, Bruce Ohr was a top official at DOJ. A House Intelligence Committee memo released by Chairman Devin Nunes said that Nellie Ohr was “employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump” and that Bruce Ohr passed the results of that research, which was paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign, to the FBI. The “salacious and unverified” dossier was used to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance warrant to spy on Carter Page.
Judicial Watch’s prior disclosures from this lawsuit show numerous Nellie Ohr communications concerning Russia with Bruce Ohr and other DOJ officials. This material seemed to contradict her congressional testimony in which she suggested she had no knowledge of what was going on during the Russia investigation at DOJ. This led to a criminal referral by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).
This email is disturbing and suggests documents relevant to the improper targeting of President Trump were destroyed.
The documents we received also revealed that Bruce Ohr remained, outrageously, in regular contact with former British spy and Fusion GPS contractor Christopher Steele after Steele was terminated by the FBI in November 2016 for revealing to the media his position as an FBI confidential informant.
Documents Suggest Mueller Let His Anti-Trump ‘Pit Bull’ Weissmann Run Special Counsel Hiring
Andrew Weissmann, often referred to as Robert Mueller’s “pitbull,” has made no effort to hide his disdain for President Trump.
We previously released documents showing his strong support for former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ refusal to enforce President Trump’s Middle East travel ban executive order. Weissmann reportedly also attended Hillary Clinton’s Election Night party in New York.
As astounding as it is that Mueller recruited him for the special counsel’s office, it’s even more amazing that Mueller turned hiring over to him, as we have just learned. Mueller was making little effort to assure the public that his investigation was objective and fair.
We just forced the Justice Department to release 73 pages of records containing text messages and calendar entries of Mueller special counsel prosecutor Andrew Weissmann showing he led the hiring effort for the investigation that targeted President Trump.
The document production came in response to our June 7, 2018, lawsuit filed after the Department of Justice failed to respond to a December 15, 2017, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-01356)). Judicial Watch seeks:
- All text messages sent to or from DOJ official Andrew Weissmann regarding Donald Trump and/or Hillary Clinton between August 8, 2016 and the present [December 15, 2017].
- All calendar entries, whether in physical or electronic form, for Weissmann from January 1, 2015 to the present [December 15, 2017].
Weissmann was formerly the Obama-era chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Fraud Section.
His calendar entries provided to us start in May 2017, even though the lawsuit sued for records going back to 2015. The few text messages produced by the DOJ did not specify the year sent or received.
Weissman’s calendar shows that he began interviewing people for investigator jobs on the Mueller operation almost immediately after it was announced that he had joined the team in early June.
On June 5, 2017, he interviewed former Chief of the Public Corruption Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York Andrew Goldstein. Goldstein formerly was a Time magazine reporter. Goldstein contributed a combined $3,300 to Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012. His wife, Julie Rawe, was a reporter and editor for Time for 13 years, until 2013. He became a lead prosecutor for Mueller.
The next day, on June 6, 2017 Weissmann had a meeting with “FARA [Foreign Agents Registration Act] counsel.”
Weissmann interviewed another prosecutor, Kyle Freeny, from the DOJ Money Laundering Section for the team on June 7, 2017. She contributed a total of $500 to Obama’s presidential campaigns and $250 to Hillary Clinton’s. She was later detailed to the Mueller investigation.
He interviewed a trial attorney who worked with him in the Criminal Fraud Section, Rush Atkinson, on June 9, 2017. Records show that Atkinson donated $200 to Clinton’s campaign in 2016. He is a registered Democrat and contributed $200 to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Atkinson also became part of the Mueller team.
Weissmann interviewed DOJ Deputy Assistant Attorney General Greg Andres for the team on June 13, 2017. Andres donated $2,700 to the campaign for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in 2018 and $1,000 to the campaign for David Hoffman (D) in 2009. Andres is a registered Democrat. His wife, Ronnie Abrams, a U.S. district judge in Manhattan, was nominated to the bench in 2011 by Obama. He joined the Mueller team in August 2017.
The same day’s calendar entry shows a reference to MLARS [Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section] at DOJ and to Cyprus MLAT [Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty].
The calendar references an appointment on June 15, 2017, to “NY knock-and-talks.” The same day, Weissmann has a note for “Ethics Training Session.”
On June 16, 2017, he makes a reference to “Rule 4.2”, concerning the propriety of lawyers talking to witnesses represented by counsel.
On June 27, 2017, Weissmann conducts more hiring interviews.
On June 28, 2017, he notes discussion of a Grand Jury taking place.
On Independence Day, July 4, 2017, Weissmann holds a “Team Leader Meeting” and a “Daily Ops Meeting” in the Special Counsel’s conference room.
On August 3, 2017, there is a meeting about a Manafort “reverse proffer.”
On November 20, 2017, there is a meeting regarding a “proffer,” and the same day they have a call regarding Skadden attorney Alex van der Zwaan, who later pled guilty to a false statements charge.
On Thanksgiving Day, 2017, Weissmann convened a Team Manafort Meeting at FBI.
On Christmas Day 2017, he held a Team Manafort Meeting and a Daily Ops Meeting.
On New Year’s Day 2018, Weissmann held a Team Manafort Meeting.
Weissmann held many meetings throughout the period regarding Dutch attorney Alex van der Zwaan, who was sentenced for lying to investigators, including a February 11, 2018, meeting (followed nine days later by van der Zwaan’s guilty plea).
Weissmann’s text messages include a March 11 (year not provided), message indicating that he landed in the U.K., and on March 15, he received a text from someone who says, “Long time no see. Re reports that OSC [Office of Special Counsel] subpoenaing documents at Trump’s business, my sources say must take a hard look at [Redacted].”
These documents show Andrew Weissmann, an anti-Trump activist, had a hand in hiring key members of Mueller’s team – who also just happened to be political opponents of President Trump. These documents show that Mueller outsourced his hiring decisions to Andrew Weissmann. No wonder it took well over a year to get this basic information and, yet, the Deep State DOJ is still stonewalling on other Weissmann documents!
I’ll be sure to keep you updated as our Judicial Watch attorneys continue the federal court fight in our battle to investigate the investigators: Robert Mueller and his anti-Trump team.
It’s Time to Investigate the Investigators
I think I captured the sentiment of millions of Americans in this piece I wrote for The Hill.
Now that President Trump has been exonerated of the false accusations of collusion and obstruction, it is time to investigate the investigators.
The White House has justly praised the outcome of special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation for clearing the president of the odious charges that have hung over his presidency since even before his inauguration. The Mueller report overall was favorable to the president, but it also should be remembered as the Mueller special counsel’s final abuse of power. There were nearly 200 pages of irrelevancies about Russia collusion, but it couldn’t disguise the fact that all of those alleged contacts between the Russians and the Trump campaign amounted to nothing, legally or substantively. And the fact remains that the institutional climate in the Justice Department has been so hostile to the president that we can be certain that, if there had been even a scintilla of evidence supporting a criminal indictment, it would have been pursued.
Liberal members of Congress and their media allies are furious with Attorney General William Barr because he blew up the Mueller report smear job before it was out of the box. The Mueller team wanted to drop its 448-page bomb on the American people, who then would have had to sort through the innuendo and fake legal analysis without context. To his great credit, the attorney general imposed necessary discipline on the release, explaining to Congress and the American people in stark terms that there was no collusion and no obstruction. For this truth-telling, he faces impeachment threats, not plaudits, from the Democratic-media swamp.
The continuing argument over “obstruction” fits with the evident agenda of the anti-Trump Mueller team to create lingering political difficulties for the president, even though he has been cleared of legal jeopardy. Some of the Mueller operation’s so-called obstruction theories are ridiculous, such as that the president could not object to being targeted for investigation. Is it now a crime for someone falsely accused to be upset about it? Mueller presumes guilt and then refuses to “exonerate” President Trump. This turns our legal system upside down and shows the rule of law is no bar to smearing President Trump.
What is missing from the Mueller report is an honest discussion about the origins of the unverified hearsay in the “Steele dossier” that formed the underpinning of the unprecedented spying effort against Trump and his campaign. But looking ahead, the Steele dossier, its genesis and the actions of members of the Obama administration who exploited it to target the Trump campaign, are very much in the crosshairs. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation of the abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process will soon conclude, and may result in criminal referrals. Attorney General Barr also promises an even broader investigation of “Spygate” abuses.
And the abuses were not limited to the Justice Department. The U.S. intelligence community was politicized to an extent never seen in history; the State Department played a role in pushing the sham collusion story. And President Obama almost certainly knew about and approved the spying being conducted on the Trump campaign.
Judicial Watch is not waiting for government investigators, however. We have pending approximately 50 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits seeking information on the anti-Trump coup.
Judicial Watch has, to date, pursued more than 40 FOIA lawsuits in an effort to get to the bottom of the “Russiagate” hoax, including dozens explicitly dealing with the illicit targeting and other abuses of power against President Trump. We also have 10 lawsuits dealing with the Mueller investigation specifically — because this assault on the rule of law is a dire threat to our republican form of government.
Until next week …