At one time, DOJ attorney Bruce Ohr denied there was a conflict of interest between his Trump-Russia work at the DOJ and his wife Nellie’s Trump-Russia work at Fusion GPS.
But the recently released transcript of FBI agent Michael Gaeta’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee tells a different story.
Fusion GPS is the opposition research company that produced the now-discredited Trump-Russia dossier that was attributed to Christopher Steele and allegedly based on Russian sources, but which is a total work of fiction that may have been authored by Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson and his wife, Mary Jacoby.
Michael Gaeta, Bruce Ohr, and Christopher Steele were all Russia experts who had known each other since 2010.
- Michael Gaeta was head of the FBI’s Eurasian Organized Crime unit, which specializes in investigating criminal groups from Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine.
- Bruce Ohr has spent most of his career at the DOJ overseeing gang and racketeering-related prosecutions, including Russian organized crime.
- Christopher Steele ran the Russia desk at MI6 headquarters in London between 2006 and 2009. In 2009, he co-founded Orbis Business Intelligence, a London-based private intelligence firm.
During Gaeta’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, he said that, on July 5, 2016, Christopher Steele gave him pieces of what would ultimately become known as the Trump-Russia or Steele Dossier.
The material included the report claiming there was a video recording of Russian prostitutes urinating for Donald Trump’s entertainment. This is colloquially known as “the pee pee tape.”
Gaeta also testified that, on August 2016, Bruce Ohr called to press him about making sure the FBI was “doing something” with the information.
He says Ohr told him, “We just want to make sure” the information was being acted upon.
Ohr’s bosses were the deputy attorney general and the attorney general. Neither of them would have needed to rely on a Europe-based FBI agent to get material from the DOJ to the FBI.
In Gaeta’s telling, a later encounter with Bruce Ohr gave Gaeta the impression that the “we” in “we just want to make sure” referred not to the DOJ, but to the Ohrs and Fusion GPS.