A John Solomon article today points out the circumstances of Fusion-GPS contractor Nellie Ohr delivering a memory stick to her DOJ husband Bruce Ohr, who then turned around and gave it to the FBI team. The memory stick contained Nellie’s Trump-Russia research files.
As Solomon writes: “The way Ohr described it, his wife’s research was like an additional dossier assembled from Fusion GPS research to augment what Steele was separately providing the FBI.” However, Solomon stops short of explaining the full story.
Since 2017 CTH research has outlined that Christopher Steele was never the factual source of all the material inside the Clinton financed dossier. Instead all indications of the granular details point toward Christopher Steele as the laundry process where Nellie Ohr and Glenn Simpson’s collaborative work was formatted into an intelligence product known as the “Steele Dossier”.
Our research of central dossier claims, suppositions, accuracy and inaccuracy, points toward a process where Nellie Ohr provided Chris Steele with her research material and then Chris Steele was tasked with verifying, finding second sourcing, and formatting the final product into a series of intelligence documents that could be passed back to the FBI.
In essence, Nellie has always been the material dossier author.
Fusion-GPS’s Glenn Simpson hired (contracted) Nellie Ohr in December of 2015. It is highly likely this arrangement was due to Nellie’s research access to the FBI/NSA database. Mrs. Ohr was almost certainly doing unauthorized wide-ranging FISA(702) searches using “about queries” (option 17) and “To/From queries (option 16)
At the conclusion of her effort, providing material she knew the FBI was exploiting for the Trump-Russia ‘spygate’ scheme, the memory stick Nellie provided to Bruce was the totality of all her raw research files. Those files included stuff Chris Steele had already compiled, and research raw stuff that neither was able to verify – and search results that ever made their way into the dossier.
Turning over all of the raw research would allow the FBI to explore and/or re-explore the information to see if they could extract more value. My suspicion is that memory stick provided the unlawfully extracted seed material for what the Mueller investigation ultimately used against Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn. [The Papadopoulos and Page stuff was not as valuable]
Within this hand-off, the FBI research and investigative unit, assisting Robert Mueller’s 2017 assembled team of prosecutors etc., was essentially the same FBI small group who were doing the 2016 ‘Spygate’ granular research.
Nellie’s files gave Team Mueller a head-start and they didn’t need to file for as many search warrants because Nellie had already explored the database and extracted the material they would later use. It’s really not a hard pattern of dot connection once you follow the timeline and process.
According to the prior leaked transcript Bruce Ohr gave testimony he accepted a thumb drive from Glenn Simpson (Nellie’s employer – Fusion GPS), and another from his wife Nellie Ohr, and he passed them along to FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka.
The interesting aspect to a Daily Caller report of Nellie Ohr’s testimony is her apparent focus on research into the Trump family travel:
“How about Donald Trump Jr.? Did you do more in-depth research on Donald Trump Jr. than some of the others?” she was asked.
“I’m afraid it was relatively superficial. It was,” adding that, “I looked into some of his travels and you know not sure how much detail I remember, at this point.”
“I looked into some of her travels,” said Ohr.
The goal was “to see whether they were involved in dealings and transactions with people who had had suspicious pasts.” (read more)
This becomes more of a central issue when we go back to the mistake about Michael Cohen within the Steele Dossier; that was also a mistake about travel. [Cohen in Prague] Our suspicion has always been that Nellie Ohr was exploiting her CIA authorized access to the FBI/NSA database doing research (ie. FISA abuse).
Additionally, it has always appeared to be evident that Nellie actually sent her research material to Christopher Steele (another Fusion GPS contractor), who was tasked to verify, find supplemental sourcing, launder the research and present it as a more official looking intelligence product…. The Steele Dossier.
It would just make sense the place where Nellie Ohr would be researching travel would be the FISA database (FBI/NSA). Where else could she access that information?
Understanding “ FISA-702(16)(17) ” and the elements that help make sense of this story.
- FISA – Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
- 702 – An American caught up in the process of Foreign Surveillance
- (16) – A search query based on “TO” and/or “FROM”
- (17) – A search query based on “ABOUT”
Again, to repeat, there are differing FISA rules for use of the NSA or FBI database depending on the originating intelligence compartment.
If a search is conducted from an intelligence compartment within the U.S. government whose objective is to ensure “National Security” there are different FISA rules than a search from an intelligence compartment not engaged in “National Security”.
The DOJ has a “National Security Division”. Their compartment rules on FISA searches and reviews are different from the DOJ “Civil Rights Division”. There are 30 DOJ divisions.
The FBI (a department within the DOJ) has a Counterintelligence Division that focuses on terrorism threats etc. A FISA search from within the Counterintelligence Division has different rules than a FISA search from the Science and Technology Division.
So, We Begin: FISA searches can be conducted on any foreign person without issue. All non-U.S. citizens on the entire planet can be searched 24/7/365 no issues. FISA searches on foreign people have no restrictions at all.
However, when the FISA search returns data identifying a U.S. citizen, everything changes. Those changes are under the identifying term “702”. A “702” is an American person.
All U.S. citizens are protected by the fourth amendment against unlawful search and seizure. All searches of U.S. people must have a valid reason. Title III says any search for a potential criminal investigation must have a judicial warrant. Additionally, any criminal search of the FISA database must also have a warrant (technically, ‘approval’).
Any FISA searches of foreign subjects, might need FISA Court approval if the returned data includes a U.S. subject (“702”).
However, When a FISA-702 search is conducted based on the need for “national security” no approval from the FISA court is needed. Search away. If the FISA search is because of a “vital national security interest” the resulting search data can be opened, and all ‘upstream’ connections explored, without seeking permission from the FISA court.
♦A “FISA-702(16)” Search Result – would be a search result of the FBI (counter terrorism) database or NSA database that returns an American person as a result of a “To” or “From” (16) type data search.
EXAMPLE: Querying phone data (phone number) TO: Operator BadGuy or FROM: Operator BadGuy – might return a list of phone numbers that also contains an American persons’ phone number. That American person is protected by the fourth amendment. To look at the “upstream” connections of the American Person to other people, likely more Americans, the search operator would need to ask permission of the FISA Court to review the upstream results.
[NOTE: *Exception* – the search was vital to national security. If so, the upstream phone numbers could be reviewed without asking FISA permission.]
♦A “FISA-702(17)” Search Result – would be a search result of the FBI (counter terrorism) database or NSA database that returns an American person (702) as a result of an “ABOUT” (17) type data search.
EXAMPLE: Querying everything in email ABOUT: Mohammed BadGuy – might return communication of an American who wrote a letter about Mohammed BadGuy or maybe he told a friend in a text to check out a media story about Mohammed BadGuy. To look at the email or text of the American, the search operator would need to ask permission of the FISA Court to see the email/text content.
[NOTE: *Exception* – the search was vital to national security?. If So, the email and text could be looked at without asking permission]
November 2015 through April 2016 FISA-702(17) “About Queries”, returns from searches, were identified by NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers, being conducted by the intelligence community (FBI), by “contractors” and “individuals” for reasons that: •were unauthorized; •were directly related to U.S. persons; •and had nothing to do with National Security; •and were conducted by people who did not request FISA Court Approval.
Pg 83. “FBI gave raw Section 702–acquired information to a private entity that was not a federal agency and whose personnel were not sufficiently supervised by a federal agency for compliance minimization procedures.”
Someone inside the FBI was giving FISA-702 search results on U.S. individuals to a private entity that had nothing to do with government. Those 702 (American Citizen) results were not “minimized” and exposed the private data of the American citizen(s).
In addition, NSA Director Mike Rogers, who is also in charge of Cyber Command, discovered people within the intelligence community were doing “searches” of the NSA and FBI database that were returning information that had nothing to do with “Foreign Individuals”.
Director Rogers requested a full FISA-702 Compliance Review.
As an outcome of that review, the DOJ/FBI compliance officer noted FISA violations. Again, the FISA Court (page 87):
We do not know exactly how many FISA-702 violations took place prior to NSA Mike Rogers initiating the full FISA-702 review in April 2016. Nor do we know who the insider individuals were; or what results were passed on; or what was done with the results.
However, given the nature of what was taking place at the time (December 2015 through March, April, 2016) it appears likely this was part of the DOJ/FBI/Fusion-GPS collision to gather information on political candidates including the candidacy of Donald Trump.
These ‘passed-along’ FISA-702 raw search results appear to be the seeds which were fertilized by Glenn Simpson, Nellie Ohr; and enhanced/laundered by Christopher Steele – to end with a “Steele Dossier”; which was returned to the FBI via Counterintelligence Agent Peter Strzok, DOJ Deputy Bruce Ohr, and generated reports “unmasked” by Obama administration officials.
The DOJ and FBI then took the Ohr/Steele dossier, full circle, back to the FISA Court to gain all encompassing FISA “Title 1” surveillance authority upon the Trump Campaign (October 2016), and President-Elect (after November 8th, 2016). The process was rushed because the FBI team needed the FISA court search warrant approval to cover for surveillance they had been doing since 2015. FISA warrant approvals apply retroactively.
In October 2016, immediately after the DOJ lawyers formatted the FBI information (Steele Dossier etc.) for a valid FISC application, the head of the DOJ National Security Division, Asst. Attorney General John P Carlin, left his job. Carlin’s exit came as the DOJ-NSD and Admiral Rogers informed the FISC that frequent unauthorized FISA-702 searches had been conducted. Read Here.
All research indicates the intelligence information the DOJ and FBI collected via FISA-702 queries, combined with the intelligence Fusion GPS created in their earlier use of contractor access to FISA-702(17) “about queries”, was the intelligence data manipulated by Nellie Ohr, and laundered by Christopher Steele for use in creating “The Russian Dossier”.
Mrs. Nellie Ohr was not only a Fusion GPS contracted employee, but she was also part of the CIA’s Open Source Works, in Washington DC (link) Both Mr. and Mrs Ohr worked on a collaborative group project surrounding International Organized Crime. (pdf here) Page #30 Screen Shot Below: