Judicial Watch Releases Email Exchanges of Russian-Related Material between Nellie Ohr and DOJ Top Official Lisa Holtyn During the Time Ohr Worked at Fusion GPS
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 72 pages of documents from the U.S. Department of Justice containing Russia-related emails sent from Nellie Ohr to high-ranking DOJ official Lisa Holtyn at the time Ohr worked with anti-Trump dossier firm Fusion GPS. Holtyn at the time was a top aide to former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr.
In an email to Holtyn dated November 22, 2016, revealing her anti-Trump sentiments, Nellie poses a question in the subject line: “Who stands behind the Russian ‘friends of Trump;’” which she answers enthusiastically in the first line of the email: “Pornographer-turned-pro-Kremlin-media-impresario Konstantin Rykov!!!”
The documents show that Nellie Ohr was providing the Justice Department significant amounts of information on Russia via email from January 2016 – November 2016. She testified to Congress she worked as a contractor for Fusion GPS “October of 2015, give or take a couple weeks, and into the end of September 2016.” Much of the material Ohr sent to the DOJ is untranslated Russia-language reports.
Fusion GPS is the firm paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to create the anti-Trump dossier.
The documents show Nellie Ohr’s providing Justice Department officials much the same kind of open-source research and investigative services she was paid to provide Fusion GPS.
Nellie Ohr told Congress that she worked at Fusion GPS on “a project looking into the relationship of Donald Trump with [Russian] organized crime,” for which she would “write occasional reports based on the open source research that I described about Donald Trump’s relationships with various people in Russia” She also testified she gathered information during the 2016 campaign about Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Carter Page, President Trump, his wife Melania Trump and his children for Fusion GPS.
Judicial Watch obtained the records through its August 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the Justice Department after it failed to respond to a May 29, 2018, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-01854)). Judicial Watch seeks:
- All records from the Office of the Deputy Attorney General relating to Fusion GPS, Nellie Ohr and/or British national Christopher Steele, including but not limited to all records of communications about and with Fusion GPS officials, Nellie Ohr and Christopher Steele.
- All records from the office of former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce G. Ohr relating to Fusion GPS, Nellie Ohr and/or British national Christopher Steele, including but not limited to all records of communications (including those of former Associate Deputy Attorney General Ohr) about and with Fusion GPS officials, Nellie Ohr and Christopher Steele.
- All records from the office of the Director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force relating to Fusion GPS, Nellie Ohr and/or British national Christopher Steele, including but not limited to all records of communications (including those of former Organized Crime Task Force Director Bruce Ohr) about and with Fusion GPS officials, Nellie Ohr and Christopher Steele.
“Nellie Ohr funneled anti-Trump smears to her husband’s underlings in the DOJ, who were running an illicit spy operation against President Trump,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Nellie Ohr is obviously a key figure in the Clinton-DNC-Fusion GPS spy ring.”
Judicial Watch previously released documents from the Justice Department showing a conversation between former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Kathleen Kavalec and Bruce Ohr, discussing the targeting of Donald Trump with Steele dossier material. In discussing a meeting with the potential source for a Mother Jones article accusing the Trump campaign of taking money from a Russian-American oil magnate, as well as Christopher Steele’s connection to that source, Kavalec emails Ohr citing the accusatory Mother Jones article. Ohr says, “I really hope we can get something going here.”
Judicial Watch earlier obtained an email revealing that Nellie Ohr informed husband Bruce that she was deleting emails sent from his Justice Department email account. The documents also showed that Bruce Ohr remained in regular contact with Steele after he was terminated in 2016 by the FBI, and that Ohr passed along information Steele provided him to Justice Department colleagues and the FBI.
Bruce Ohr testified to Congress that his wife Nellie provided him with a memory stick that included research she had done for Fusion GPS, and he passed it along to the FBI.
In April 2019, Judicial Watch uncovered documents showing that Bruce Ohr in his January 2018 preparation to testify to the Senate and House intelligence committees wrote to a lawyer about “possible ethics concerns.” Bruce Ohr forwarded the email to Nellie.