President Donald Trump is demanding – for a second time – senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr be fired, coming one day after the government employee was subject to a closed door grilling by members of Congress.
The president fumed at Ohr, asking ‘how the hell’ he still has a job and called it a ‘disgrace.’
Trump has repeatedly targeted Ohr, who is also on the administration’s list of officials who may lose their security clearance.
‘How the hell is Bruce Ohr still employed at the Justice Department? Disgraceful! Witch Hunt!,’ the president tweeted Wednesday.
Former associate deputy U.S. attorney general Bruce Ohr arrives to testify behind closed doors before the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform Committees
President Trump has targeted Ohr repeatedly on Twitter and on Wednesday demanded – for a second time – Ohr be fired
Trump made his first call for the termination last week, citing Nellie Ohr’s ties to the company which commissioned the infamous and unverified Steele dossier during the presidential campaign.
Ohr was on Capitol Hill Tuesday for almost eight hours in a closed-door grilling with lawmakers.
The House is on August recess but Republican lawmakers returned for the chance to question Ohr, who was in contact with former British spy Christopher Steele, while Democratic lawmakers were represented by committee staff, ABC News reported.
Ohr gave lawmakers ‘a list of half a dozen’ senior FBI and Justice Departments officials who knew about his interactions, GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe told Fox News’ ‘Hannity’ Tuesday night.
Ohr passed along Steele’s information to the FBI, even after the bureau had terminated its formal relationship with Steele over media leaks.
Republicans also were interested in how Steele’s dossier ended up in FBI hands. Ohr’s wife Nellie worked at the same firm that hired Steele to write the dossier although it’s been reported she did not work on that project.
Republicans said Ohr’s testimony suggested the FBI had doubts about dossier’s credibility when they sought a surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign official Carter Page in October 2016.
Trump and his allies claim that FBI surveillance of Page was a done through a tainted FISA warrant that relied on the Steele dossier.
Last month, documents released through a Freedom of Information Act request showed federal agents relied on more information than the Steele dossier to obtain the warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Ohr is an expert on the Russian mafia and organized crime, work that brought him into contact with Steele, who specialized in Russia when he worked as a spy.
The two men met in 2007, when Steele still worked for MI-6 and Ohr was investigating Russian crime syndicates.
Steele went on to investigate ties between Trump and Russia for the research firm, Fusion GPS, where Ohr’s wife Nellie worked as a contractor.
Ohr had contact with former British spy Christopher Steele, whose unverified dossier alleged Russia had information it could use to blackmail Trump
Fusion GPS commissioned Steele to write the dossier on Trump that alleged the Russians have information they could use to blackmail the president, including an allegation – which Trump has denied – that he hired ‘a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him’ when he was in Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.
Reports indicate Nellie Ohr did not work on the dossier and her time at Fusion GPS did not influence her husband’s work at DoJ.
Trump and his allies claim the Steele dossier was politically motivated by those in the government who do not want to see Trump be president.
Democrats, meanwhile, argue the Ohr testimony is another attempt to prove a conspiracy theory they say does not have merit.