The wife of a high-ranking Justice Department official handed her husband a dossier of research on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in December 2016, according to FBI documents released on Aug. 8.
Nellie Ohr, the wife of Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, gave him a report titled “Manafort Chronology.” Bruce Ohr gave the report to the FBI on Dec. 19, 2016.
Nellie Ohr compiled the Manafort report as part of her work for Fusion GPS. The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) paid Fusion GPS $1 million to conduct opposition research on then-candidate Donald Trump. Fusion GPS hired Nellie Ohr to conduct open-source opposition research in 2015.
The revelation about the Manafort report is part of a batch of FBI documents memorializing the bureau’s interviews with Bruce Ohr. Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained the documents (pdf) as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the bureau.
“These new Bruce Ohr FBI 302s show an unprecedented and irregular effort by the FBI, DOJ, and State Department to dig up dirt on President Trump using the conflicted Bruce Ohr, his wife, and the Clinton/DNC spies at Fusion GPS,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.
Both the existence of a Fusion GPS-produced dossier on Manafort and the way the document made it to the FBI haven’t been previously disclosed to the public. The documents raise additional questions about what role the politically funded opposition research played in the government’s investigation of Manafort, who would go on to be prosecuted and sentenced for several crimes unrelated to his work on the Trump campaign.
Fusion GPS is best known for commissioning the Clinton-funded dossier of opposition research on Trump. Former British spy Christopher Steele compiled the dossier using second- and third-hand sources with ties to the Kremlin. The FBI used the dossier as evidence to secure a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign associate Carter Page over the course of a year starting in October 2016.
“The FISA courts weren’t informed of this corrupted process when they were asked to approve and reapprove extraordinary spy warrants targeting President Trump,” Fitton said.
In a subsequent interview with the FBI on Dec. 20, 2016, Ohr handed the FBI agents a thumb drive containing the totality of Nellie Ohr’s research for Fusion GPS; documents on the drive had the Fusion GPS headers stripped.
In addition to researching Manafort, Nellie Ohr told Congress in October 2018 that she conducted research on Trump campaign associate Carter Page and Trump campaign supporter Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn in addition to Trump’s family, including some of his children.
Nellie Ohr worked for the CIA for at least two years starting in 2008.
In addition to Nellie Ohr, the DNC paid Alexandra Chalupa, who likewise engaged in a campaign to dig up dirt on Manafort. Chalupa had requested help from the Ukrainian embassy in Washington. Trump fired Manafort from the campaign after a dossier of damaging information on Manafort was released in Ukraine.
Manafort’s work in Ukraine, dating back years, became the source of several charges against him filed by then-special counsel Robert Mueller.