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  Horowitz Report Chapter 9 Section I

       Bruce Ohr's Background


In this chapter, we describe Department attorney Bruce Ohr 's activities during the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, primarily relating to his interactions with Christopher Steele.
Ohr was an Associate Deputy Attorney General( ADAG) in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General( ODAG) and the Director of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force( OCDETF) at the time of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, and was personally acquainted with Steele and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. In addition, Ohr 's wife Nellie Ohr was employed as an independent contractor by Fusion GPS. During 2016 and 2017, Ohr received information from Steele and Simpson describing alleged links between the Russian government and the Donald J. Trump campaign and suggesting that the Russian government had leverage over Trump. Ohr provided the information he received from Steele and Simpson to the FBI, which had already received much, but not all, of the same information through its direct contact with Steele. Ohr did not advise any of his supervisors in ODAG about his contacts with Steele and Simpson, about his wife 's work for Fusion GPS, or about his acting as a conduit of this information to the FBI, until ODAG leadership confronted Ohr about his

activities in late 2017.

We also describe in this chapter Ohr 's and several other Department attorneys ' activities before and after the November 2016 elections relating to the Department 's then ongoing criminal money laundering investigation of Paul Manafort.

I. Bruce Ohr 's Background

A. Department Positions and Responsibilities

Bruce Ohr joined the Department on January 31, 1991, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney( AUSA) in the U.S. Attorney 's Office for the Southern District of New York( SDNY).
Ohr remained with SONY until 1999 when he transferred to the Department 's Criminal Division( CRM) in Washington, D.C., as Chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section( OCRS). Ohr told the OIG that as Chief of OCRS, he tried to develop the Department 's capacity for fighting transnational organized crime and that this was when he began tracking Russian organized crime.

In 2011, Ohr became Counsel for Transnational Organized Crime and International Affairs to the Assistant Attorney General in CRM and worked primarily for CRM Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz.
According to Ohr, in that position he focused on policy issues relating to transnational organized crime and had no prosecutorial responsibilities. He stated that he was often the Department 's" public face'' at conferences and was sometimes approached by individuals who provided information about transnational organized crime.

In November 2014, Ohr became an ADAG in ODAG and the Director of OCDETF, a Senior Executive Service-level( SES) position.
Ohr reported to the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General( PADAG) and the Deputy Attorney General( DAG) in both of these positions. Ohr stated that as OCDETF Director, he oversaw OCDETF in its" mission... to coordinate organized crime and primarily drug investigations across the different parts of the U.S. government.'' He said OCDETF is responsible for aspects of the national drug and organized crime policies and provides funding for agents and prosecutors working on drug and organized crime cases. OCDETF is not an operational entity and does not direct prosecutorial actions in any cases. Ohr told us that when he became the OCDETF Director, then DAG Jim Cole expressed his desire for Ohr to expand OCDETF 's mission to include transnational organized crime matters. He said that, as a result, he continued working on transnational organized crime policy and, in order to maintain awareness, tracked Russian organized crime issues.

As an ADAG, Ohr also served as Director of the Attorney General 's Organized Crime Council, as the Department 's Liaison to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and as a member of the Attorney General 's Capital Case Committee.
He also assisted with implementing portions of the 2017 Executive Order on Transnational Organized Crime and developing a Transnational Organized Crime initiative.

Throughout his tenure in the Department, Ohr has been a career employee and not a political appointee.

B. Ohr 's Relationship with Steele and Glenn Simpson

Ohr 's Relationship with Steele from 2007 to March 2016

Ohr stated that he met Christopher Steele in late 2007 during meetings with an allied country 's government officials.
He said that after the meetings, he met Steele for lunch and spoke about the threat of Russian organized crime. Ohr stated that after Steele left government service, Steele set up a private investigations firm and remained in contact with Ohr. Ohr told us that he and Steele spoke" probably less than once a year'' and that he would see Steele for social visits, such as breakfast or lunch, if Steele visited Washington, D.C.. He described his relationship with Steele as being" primarily professional,'' but also" friendly'' because they shared with each other information about their families. Steele likewise told us that he and Ohr were personal friends and that he would see Ohr whenever he was in Washington, D.C., which was about once or twice a year.

Ohr stated that Steele provided him reports that Steele prepared for his clients, which Steele thought the U.S. government might find interesting.
He told us that he initially did nothing with the information he received from Steele because it was general and not directly useful for an investigation.

Ohr said he introduced Steele to Handling Agent 1 so that Steele could provide information directly to the FBI in approximately spring 2010.
He told us that he" pushed'' to make Steele an FBI Confidential Human Source( CHS) because Steele 's information was valuable. Ohr also said that it was" not efficient'' for him to pass Steele 's information to the FBI and he preferred having Steele work directly with an FBI agent. According to Steele, Ohr and Handling Agent 1 coordinated over a period of time with Steele to set up his relationship with the FBI.

Ohr 's contact with Steele did not end after Steele formalized his relationship with Handling Agent 1 and the FBI.
Ohr met or talked with Steele multiple times from 2014 through fall 2016, and on occasion those in-person meetings or video calls included Handling Agent 1. Ohr told us that he viewed meeting with Steele as part of his job because he needed to maintain awareness of Russian organized crime activities and Steele knew Russian organized crime trends better than anyone else. He said he knew Steele was also speaking to Handling Agent 1 at this time because Steele would say that he provided the same information to Handling Agent 1. Handling Agent 1 told us that he knew Steele and Ohr were in contact and talked about issues" at a higher policy level,'' but stated that he did not know anything further regarding their interactions.

Ohr and Steele also communicated frequently over the years regarding Russian Oligarch 1, including in 2016 during the time period before and after Steele was closed as an FBI CHS.
Steele told us his communications with Ohr concerning Russian Oligarch 1 were the result of an outreach effort started in 2014 with Ohr and Handling Agent 1, to approach oligarchs about cooperating with the U.S. government. Ohr confirmed that he and Handling Agent 1 asked Steele to contact Russian oligarchs for this purpose. This effort resulted in Ohr meeting with Russian Oligarch 1 and an FBI agent in September 2015.

Ohr 's Relationship with Simpson

Ohr told the OIG that he could not recall how he first met Fusion GPS cofounder Glenn Simpson.
He estimated that he saw Simpson less than ten times over several years. According to Ohr, Simpson usually reached out to him to provide information about Russian organized crime figures. Ohr stated that most of Simpson 's past information was not actionable, so he did not do anything with it and did not try to introduce Simpson to the FBI. However, as described below, Ohr told us that when Simpson provided names in 2016 of possible intermediaries between Russia and the Trump campaign, he wanted to introduce Simpson to the FBI, but thought Simpson seemed reluctant and did not do so.

C. Nellie Ohr 's Relationship with Steele and Work for Fusion GPS

Nellie Ohr, Bruce Ohr 's wife, told the OIG that she met Steele in 2009 through her husband, and that she recalled meeting him two more times-- sometime after 2014 and then at the July 30, 2016 breakfast meeting discussed later in this chapter.
She stated that she knew of Steele 's interest in Russian oligarchs and understood him to be a Russia analyst. She described his relationship with her husband as a" professional associate'' and considered them to be friendly, but not friends.

Nellie Ohr, who has a doctorate in Russian history and is fluent in Russian, told us that she contacted Simpson in October 2015 to ask for a job with Fusion GPS.
She stated that she was familiar with Simpson from reading published newspaper articles he wrote relating to Russian criminal activity. She said that she was hired by Fusion GPS as an independent contractor shortly thereafter. According to Nellie Ohr, she worked remotely from home for Fusion GPS, conducting online open source research. Bruce Ohr told us that he did not play any role in Nellie Ohr 's hiring by Fusion GPS.

Nellie Ohr stated that while working for Fusion GPS, she initially conducted online, open source research about a Russian company suspected of human trafficking.
She told us that, after her first project, Fusion GPS tasked her to research then candidate Trump and his Russian business associates, which involved searching Russian and other foreign language websites and databases and providing periodic reports detailing her findings. Nellie Ohr stated that she was not told who was funding this project and did not know that Steele was also working for Fusion GPS until July 2016. She said that she stopped working for Fusion GPS on September 24, 2016, when she began a full-time job elsewhere.
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