Ohr says the FBI knew the dossier was suspect and would stand no chance in court
Justice Department official Bruce Ohr told House lawmakers on Tuesday that the FBI doubted the credibility of a salacious anti-Trump dossier used to obtain a surveillance warrant for a member of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign team, according to a key Republican.I think there are other times when Glenn Simpson's testimony appears to be in conflict with the facts. It is not clear what the discrepancies are with Lisa Page's testimony. Those who signed off on the FISA application should have to explain themselves and possible face disciplinary proceedings.
“Not only did the FBI know the dossier was unverified, but they also knew there were real credibility issues where it would never end up in a courtroom,” said Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican.
The disclosure is the latest twist in the complicated saga of Mr. Ohr, a career Justice Department official with close ties to those responsible for creating and disseminating the dossier full of unproven allegations about President Trump’s ties to Russia.
“Until today, we were not certain that the FBI knew all of the things at the time that they were making initial FISA application and subsequent renewals,” Mr. Gaetz said. “What we’ve learned today is that the FBI was absolutely in possession of material facts that they withheld from the FISA courts.”
The FISA warrant for Mr. Page was approved in October 2016 and renewed three times by key Justice Department officials, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The warrant says Mr. Page was the subject of a “targeted recruitment” by the Russian government.
But Mr. Meadows implied the warrant may not have been approved had the FBI fully disclosed all the information to the FISA court.
“It was not only confirmed once, but multiple times that information that should have been in the FISA application was not, or it appears that it was not based on the footnotes that we have read,” he said. “I have not seen the actual FISA application. If indeed the information we heard about today was not given to those four FISA judges, there’s a real problem.”
Lawmakers said Mr. Ohr was forthcoming, but his testimony about his contacts with Fusion GPS appeared to contradict previous statements by Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
“Either Bruce Ohr’s lying or Glenn Simpson’s lying,” Mr. Gaetz said, emphasizing the need for public hearings before the Judiciary Committee to resolve the contradictory testimony.