Nellie Ohr is the wife of former Obama Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr. Both Ohr's have been heavily implicated in the Obama administration's FISA abuse scandal to spy on the Trump campaign during the 2016 Presidential election and soft coup attempt to undermine the presidency of Donald Trump.
The Clinton campaign and Democratic party hired Fusion GPS to conduct ‘opposition research’ against Donald Trump. FEC records show Obama for America also paid $972,000 to the law firm of Perkins Coie, the surrogate intermediary for FusionGPS and Hillary Clinton beginning in April 2016. Mary Jacoby, wife of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, visited the White House at the same time. FusionGPS then hired Nellie Ohr who specializes in Russian-centric counterintelligence. Nellie Ohr worked for FusionGPS and held a CIA security clearance.
The Obama FBI had been allowing contractors to access FISA data since 2012, and in July 2015 Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates issued a legal opinion denying the Office of Inspector General oversight of the DOJ National Security Division (DOJ-NSD). DOJ-NSD is the division in the Justice Department that applies for FISA warrants. The opinion was adopted as DOJ policy a month after Donald Trump declared his candidacy.
In the following months, FBI contractor access (FusionGPS) accelerated with hundreds of illegal FISA searches of upstream and downstream information on American citizens performed. NSA Dir. Mike Rogers discovered the FBI and its contractors misuse of the NSA electronic monitoring systems, and ordered a compliance audit. The audit reported back to Dir. Rogers on the violations of American citizens' Fourth Amendment rights, and Dir. Rogers cut off the FBI contractors' access.
After being hired by the Clinton campaign in April 2016 and shut out from access by the FISA Compliance Audit, FusionGPS and the DOJ needed a work around for continued access to FISA information. Russian expert Nellie Ohr was hired. Nellie could use Bruce’s high level DOJ-NSD access to continue gathering FISA-702 data. Nellie and Bruce Ohr and Simpson collaborated on other projects in the past.
Nellie worked with former MI6 officer Christopher Steele to write the Steele dossier. By May 2016, Nellie Ohr’s husband Bruce was working with FBI counterintelligence deputy Peter Strzok, and Nellie applied for a HAM radio license which would allow Nellie to communicate with Christopher Steele outside normal NSA electronic communication intercepts. Steele filed his first opposition research report, the infamous 'pee-pee memo', entitled Company Intelligence Report, on June 20, 2016. Days later Peter Strzok of the Obama FBI Counterintelligence Division met with Steele personally and received a preliminary draft of Steele's memo. Receiving the information from outside the government was intended to give the FBI and DOJ deniability of illegal domestic spying.
Also in June 2016 Peter Strzok, Bruce Ohr and DOJ Attorney Lisa Page applied for FISA approval against the Trump campaign, a month before the FBI's Russia investigation began. The initial FISA warrant application was denied.
- Nellie Ohr represented the CIA's "Open Source Works" group in a 2010 "expert working group report on international organized crime" along with her husband Bruce Ohr and FusionGPS founder Glenn Simpson. Open Source Works, the CIA’s in-house open source analysis component, is devoted to intelligence analysis of unclassified, open source information. The directive that established Open Source Works is classified, as is the charter of the organization.
The directive itself that established Open Source Works is classified, as is the charter of the organization. CIA says the existence of any such records is a classified fact. “The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to your request,” wrote Susan Viscuso, CIA Information and Privacy Coordinator, in a November 29, 2017 response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Jeffrey Richelson of the National Security Archive for the Open Source Works directive and charter.
“The fact of the existence or nonexistence of requested records is currently and properly classified and is intelligence sources and methods information that is protected from disclosure,” Dr. Viscuso wrote. This is a surprising development since Open Source Works — by definition — does not engage in clandestine collection of intelligence. Rather, it performs analysis based on unclassified, open source materials. -FAS
- Expert Working Group Report on International Organized Crime, John T. Picarelli, Discussion Paper Document No.: 230846, National Institute of Justice, June 2010, p. 30 PDF. Published by the United States Dept. of Justice.