Bruce Ohr retires from DOJ

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Bruce Ohr, the Department of Justice (DOJ) official who faced scrutiny over his connection to British spy Christopher Steele, retired from the agency last month prior to his anticipated firing, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to ABC News on Wednesday.

DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec confirmed Ohr’s resignation in a statement to ABC News, saying the official retired from his position on Sept. 30 “after his counsel was informed that a final decision on a disciplinary review being conducted by Department senior career officials was imminent.”

Kupec did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

Ohr’s retirement, which was first reported by CBS News on Wednesday, resulted from a disciplinary review sparked by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation last year that examined the beginnings of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. 

In his investigation, Horowitz had determined that Ohr did not properly inform DOJ leadership of ongoing meetings with FBI officials and others, where he discussed allegations tying Trump to Russian actors included in a “dossier” compiled by Steele.

Horowitz criticized Ohr following the inspector general’s investigation for what Horowitz described as “consequential errors in judgment.”

In August 2019, the FBI released notes from its Russia probe interviews with Bruce Ohr. The documents detailed interactions between Ohr and Steele from the start of 2016 to May 2017, which were released as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the conservative group Judicial Watch.

The documents also noted that Steele began sharing intelligence with Ohr, including early conversations between members of the Trump campaign and Russia. Ohr reportedly continued serving as an unofficial intermediary between the FBI and Steele after the bureau cut ties with the British intelligence official over his contacts with the press.

Steele and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson allegedly shared intelligence on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s ties to Russian oligarchs, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page and financial ties between Alfa Bank and Trump, among others. 

According to the FBI, Ohr was aware that Simpson hired Steele to look into contacts between Trump and Russia and that this information was contracted as opposition research that would be shared with the Clinton campaign, State Department employee Jon Winer and the FBI. 

Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, worked as a contractor for Fusion GPS during this time. According to notes, Bruce Ohr voluntarily provided his wife’s research to the FBI, confirming a connection that Republicans have repeatedly claimed illustrated a bias against Trump among FBI and DOJ officials.

Tags Bruce Ohr Carter Page Christopher Steele DOJ Donald Trump FBI Fusion GPS Michael Cohen Michael Horowitz Nellie Ohr Paul Manafort Russia Investigation U.S. Department of Justice

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