Report: House Republicans seeking Nellie Ohr’s oppo research on Trump family

July 20, 2019

Republican House investigators are now looking to get their hands on opposition research into the Trump family that was conducted by Nellie Ohr on behalf of Fusion GPS in 2016, Fox News reported, citing “two sources familiar with the matter.”

A central figure

For those who’ve closely followed the unraveling of the Russian collusion narrative and counter-investigation into how the investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump began, Nellie Ohr is an intriguing central figure in the genesis of the story.

Nellie Ohr worked for the Democrat-aligned opposition research firm Fusion GPS, and her husband, Bruce Ohr, served in the Department of Justice and is believed to have served as a back-channel go-between the FBI and those who were digging up dirt on Trump and his associates.

Ohr, Fusion GPS, and Christopher Steele

Ohr’s research into Trump and his family is believed to have occurred prior to Fusion GPS’s contract with former British spy Christopher Steele, who compiled the infamous “dossier” of unsubstantiated claims that fueled the now-debunked Trump-Russia collusion narrative.

A key question that investigators hope to answer is whether any of Ohr’s research ended up in Steele’s dossier or otherwise influenced his finished product.

Ohr looked for “Russian connections”

In a closed-door deposition in late 2018, Nellie Ohr testified before members of Congress and told investigators that she had conducted background research into Trump and members of his family, including Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

“I was asked to research Trump’s family broadly in connection with any — any Russian connections,” Ohr told Congress. “I did some research on all of them, but not in much depth.”

Aside from digging into the family’s foreign travels, the purpose of Ohr’s research was to “see whether they were involved in dealings and transactions with people who had suspicious pasts, or suspicious types of dealings.”

Ohr also admitted in that deposition that she still possessed the compendium of information she’d collected, though she was unsure whether that information was hers to do with as she pleased or belonged to Fusion GPS, given they had contracted with Ohr to collect it for them.

Did Ohr’s research form basis of Steele dossier or was it separate?

Regardless, Congressional Republicans wanted to see all of Ohr’s research for themselves. One Republican investigator asked, “Would you be willing to share that with the committee?”

Ohr reportedly replied, “I guess so.”

As such, the Republican investigators are now seeking a way to obtain Ohr’s research, though it remains unclear if she will voluntarily turn it over, submit it in response to a subpoena, or force the House Republicans to fight it out legally with Fusion GPS to gain possession.

Fox News reached out to Ohr’s attorney for answers, including about the apparent months of delay, but it doesn’t appear that any response has yet been provided.

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Ben Marquis

Ben Marquis is a staff writer for Conservative Institute.