Justice lawyer was told Russia had 'Trump over a barrel'

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Justice Department official Bruce Ohr arrived, August 28, for a closed hearing of the House Judiciary and House Oversight committees on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Between 2014 and 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department sought and attempted to turn Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska into an informant for the United States, the Times reported Saturday. Who is Bruce Ohr, and why is Trump tweeting about not only about him but Ohr's wife as well? They weren't authorized to discuss it and spoke on condition of anonymity.

President Trump often complains bitterly on Twitter about the Mueller "witch hunt", and of late, has been singling out Ohr and his wife Nellie, who worked for Fusion GPS in 2016, for special scorn.

Mr. Ohr told lawmakers that Mr. Steele informed him that key Trump campaign aide Carter Page had met with higher-ranking Russian Intelligence officials than he previously indicated. Trump supporters accuse Ohr of cooperating with Steele on the dossier that outlined Russian financial ties and salacious personal details.

Ohr still remains at the Justice Department despite this.

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It was unclear from Ohr's interview with lawmakers whether Steele had been directly told that or had picked up the information through his contacts. At the time of the 2016 presidential election, he was a high-ranking official in the deputy attorney general's office.

The July 30, 2016, meeting between Steele and Ohr came one day before the FBI officially opened its counterintelligence investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

The newspaper added that the effort did not seem to have had any successes; Deripaska told United States investigators he disagreed with them on Russian organized crime and ideas about possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, a person familiar with the exchanges told the Times. But the investigation was opened because of conversations involving former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, and not the dossier, FBI and congressional officials have said.

Weissman is a Democrat partisan who attended Hillary Clinton's election night party and thanked then-acting attorney general Sally Yates in January 2017 after she defied President Trump's travel ban order.

In one instance, members read from an email in which Steele wrote to Ohr that he wanted to discuss something with him informally. They said he was being stripped of his associate deputy attorney post as part of a planned internal reorganization that would have occurred anyway, people familiar with Ohr's account say.