Five things to know about Bruce Ohr, the DOJ official under fire from Trump

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE has recently attacked Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, linking the figure to his allegations of bias in the federal Russia probe.

Ohr has long drawn intense scrutiny from figures on the right, but he received broad attention after Trump said Friday that he is planning to revoke his security clearance following the president's controversial decision to revoke the clearance of former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanOvernight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Trump: I believe Obama would have gone to war with North Korea Intel agencies' threat assessment matters more than tiff with Trump MORE.

While it's unclear in what full capacity the official is currently serving at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Ohr and his wife have caught the attention of Republican lawmakers, who are now seeking to interview the couple, among other figures.

ADVERTISEMENT

From Ohr’s ties to intelligence firm Fusion GPS to the president’s threats, here are five things to know about the Justice Department official.

Trump is threatening to take away Ohr's security clearance

The president told reporters Friday that he is planning on revoking Ohr’s security clearance “very quickly,” calling the official “a disgrace.”

“For him to be in the Justice Department and doing what he did, that is a disgrace,” Trump said.

If Trump follows through on the promise, it would be the first time he pulled a security clearance from a current DOJ staffer, a move that would likely inflame tensions between the president and the intelligence community.

Trump pulled the security clearance for Brennan, a vocal critic who served as CIA chief under former President Obama, earlier in the week and the White House has reportedly drafted documents for the president to revoke several other former officials' clearances.

It's unclear how revoking Ohr's clearance might affect his ability to do parts of his job. Those who have maintained their clearances after leaving government have mostly done so to preserve current officials' ability to ask them questions about particular issues.

Ohr was demoted over his ties to Steele

Ohr, who previously served as associate deputy attorney general, was demoted late last year over his contacts with former British spy Christopher Steele, who assembled the controversial dossier alleging ties between Trump and Russia.

The longtime government prosecutor was demoted in December 2017 after the DOJ learned he had been in touch with Steele. Ohr also worked as the head of Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces before being removed from that position as well.

While the agency has not commented recently on Ohr's current role at the DOJ, a source familiar with his position told CNN this week that Ohr is serving as an attorney in the DOJ's criminal division.

The agency pointed The Washington Post to a June statement from Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinMcCabe's shocking claims prove the bloodless coup rolls on From border to Mueller, Barr faces challenges as attorney general Senate Dem: 25th Amendment talks don't reflect 'some deep state conspiracy' MORE, the No. 2 official at the DOJ.

“Mr. Ohr is a career employee of the department. He was there when I arrived. To my knowledge, he wasn't working on the Russia matter,” Rosenstein told the House Intelligence Committee at the time. “When we learned of the relevant information, we arranged to transfer Mr. Ohr to a different office.”

The FBI interviewed Ohr about his contacts with Steele. Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyHigh stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks Senate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Grassley raises voice after McConnell interrupts Senate speech MORE (R-Iowa) has asked that the reports that include the interviews be declassified.

Ohr’s wife worked for the firm behind the Steele dossier

Much of the scrutiny on Ohr has surrounded his ties to Steele, whose dossier made salacious and unverified claims on the relationship between Trump and Russia.

Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, has worked for Fusion GPS, the firm that funded Steele’s research behind the document.

The Post reported that Bruce Ohr’s financial disclosure form listed his wife’s occupation as an “independent contractor.”

However, it's unknown how large or small of a role Nellie Ohr played in the research that went into the dossier.

A court filing from the co-founder of Fusion GPS said the firm contracted with Nellie Ohr to help "with its research and analysis of Mr. Trump."

Ohr knew both Steele and the head of Fusion GPS

The Hill’s John Solomon reported earlier this month that Bruce Ohr and Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson had met shortly after Trump won the 2016 election, and that Ohr wrote in handwritten notes that it was believed that Trump’s former longtime personal lawyer Micahel Cohen was the “go-between from Russia to the Trump campaign.”

“Much of the collection about the Trump campaign ties to Russia comes from a former Russian intelligence officer (? not entirely clear) who lives in the U.S.,” Ohr also wrote in the notes.

The Post reported that Simpson and Ohr knew each other from organized crime conferences, and that Steele also knew the DOJ official from their work in the same field.

Simpson testified before the House Intelligence Committee that Steele had recommended he talk to Ohr after Trump’s election victory.

And emails obtained by The Hill also showed that Steele had contacted Ohr ahead of the 2016 election, with the British intelligence officer writing that he wanted to discuss “our favorite business tycoon!”

It’s unclear who Steele was referring to in the email. The two men had previously discussed Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, but it also may have referred to Trump.

Conservative lawmakers will question Ohr

The Hill reported earlier this month that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteIt’s time for Congress to pass an anti-cruelty statute DOJ opinion will help protect kids from dangers of online gambling House GOP probe into FBI, DOJ comes to an end MORE (R-Va.) is preparing subpoenas for Ohr, his wife and Simpson.

"We plan to interview the people [mentioned] in the coming weeks and we will issue subpoenas to compel their attendance if necessary," a GOP House Judiciary aide told The Hill.

Lawmakers are now set to question Ohr during a closed-door interview on Aug. 28.

Conservative lawmakers have pointed to Ohr’s ties to Steele and Simpson as evidence of bias against Trump in the DOJ and in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s probe.

Those Republicans have previously seized on the inclusion of information provided by Steele to the FBI in an application to obtain a surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

The warrant application, released last month, showed that the FBI cut off ties with Steele after discovering he was sharing information with the media.