Justice lawyer was told Russia had 'Trump over a barrel'

Pres. Trump Accuses Bruce, Nellie Ohr Of Colluding With Russia

Two of the leaders of the secret program were top Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr and former British spy Christopher Steele, both of whom have been repeatedly attacked by President Donald Trump. Ohr is a Department of Justice official who has been at the agency for nearly three decades.

The letter was the latest salvo in a fight between the political parties as Republicans have criticized the propriety of the FBI's probe of ties between Moscow and Trump aides and whether they coordinated during the 2016 US election campaign. At the time of the 2016 presidential election, he was a high-ranking official in the deputy attorney general's office. He has also singled out Bruce Ohr, saying he was a "disgrace" and that he would revoke his security clearance.

Ohr, a 30-year Justice Department veteran, is being scrutinized for his meetings with Steele, the former British intelligence officer who compiled an infamous dossier on Trump and Russian Federation, and Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, the firm that hired Steele to do research on Trump.

Two sources familiar with the dossier told Reuters on condition of anonymity that Ohr had no role in its compilation.

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Trump and some of his supporters in Congress have also accused the FBI of launching the entire Russian Federation counterintelligence investigation based on the dossier. But Ohr continued to communicate with Steele and passed information to the FBI despite not officially being involved in any investigation involving Trump.

By the time the Federal Bureau of Investigation received the dossier the agency had already started its probe of Russian interference in the campaign, which the Kremlin denies.

President Trump often complains bitterly on Twitter about the Mueller "witch hunt", and of late, has been singling out Ohr and his wife Nellie, who worked for Fusion GPS in 2016, for special scorn.

Weissman is a Democrat partisan who attended Hillary Clinton's election night party and thanked then-acting attorney general Sally Yates in January 2017 after she defied President Trump's travel ban order.

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Ohr told lawmakers he could not vouch for the accuracy of Steele's information but has said he considered him a reliable FBI informant who delivered credible and actionable intelligence, including his investigation into corruption at Federation Internationale de Football Association, soccer's global governing body.

He also provided new details about the department's move to reassign him once his Steele ties were brought to light.

"Absolutely", Hayden said. "And I don't know Mr. Ohr, but in anticipation of our conversation tonight, I kind of sent a note out to folks I know who might know him, and the description I got back from him was competent, thorough, and honest".

"If members have concerns sensitive information was released, they should raise their concerns with (the intelligence committee) and/or the Ethics Committee", said Amanda Gonzalez.

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"And if Jeff Sessions won't, he should step down and let someone do it".

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