She 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. Nellie Ohr worked for FusionGPS since late 2015 and held a CIA security clearance. Nellie Ohr was paid $44,000 for her work. Her husband Bruce did not report the conflict of interest - that his wife had a financial interest in and activity he was involved in.
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. 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 graduated from Harvard University in 1983 with a degree in history and Russian literature, studied in the Soviet Union in 1989, and obtained a Ph.D. front Stanford University in Russian history in 1990.
Nellie Ohr was Professor of Russian Studies at Vasser College during 90's. Edward Baumgartner (hired by Fusion to work w ithe Natalia Veselnitskaya & Christopher Steele) studied at Vasser (Russian Studies) this time. Nellie Ohr was a conduit between Steele/Fusion and Bruce Ohr/DOJ.
Nellie Ohr's Ph.D. thesis is titled “Collective farms and Russian peasant society, 1933-1937: the stabilization of the kolkhoz order”.According the The American Spectator:
“Kolkhoz” order means “collective farm” order, so Ohr’s subtitle refers to the “stabilization” of the collective farm order. The phrasing alone is suggestive of some silverish lining after the six million or more people were killed by Stalin’s state-created famine, mass deportations, and general war of “de-kulakization.”
In the introduction to her 418-page paper, Ohr sets forth her main arguments, citing many of “revisionism’s” leading figures — J. Arch Getty, Roberta Manning, Gabor Rittersporn, Sheila Fitzpatrick.
Speaking “revisionist” lingo, Nellie Ohr turns the millions killed by Stalin into “excesses,” which, in Ohr’s words, “sometimes represented desperate measures taken by a government that had little real control over the country.” (Poor Stalin.) She depicts purges as representing “to some degree a center-periphery conflict in which the ‘state-building’ central government tried to bring headstrong local satraps under control.”
Here, in full context, are the “revisionist” trends she says her thesis will “corroborate”:
Recently, Western historians [i.e., "revisionists”] have been using materials from the Smolensk archive to back up their arguments that power flowed not only from the top down but also from the bottom up to some degree; that excesses [i.e. state sponsored mass murder] sometimes represented desperate measures taken by a government that had little real control over the country; that policies such as dekulakization and the purges of the later 1930s had some social constituency among aggrieved groups of poorer peasants; and that the purges represented to some degree a center-periphery conflict in which the ‘state-building’ central government tried to bring headstrong local satraps under control.
- See also: Biden-Ukraine scandal
Nellie Ohr told congressional investigators on Oct. 19, 2018, that while she was working for FusionGPS, she was sometimes given leads from both Jake Berkowitz, her direct supervisor, and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. When asked if any Fusion research was based off “sources of theirs,” Nellie answered affirmatively but said the information that came from the sources wasn’t in relation to the Trump family.
When pressed, Nellie said she recalled them “mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian.” She later admitted she knew of Leshchenko prior to her time at Fusion as he was a “very well-known, Ukrainian, anti-corruption activist” and said she had followed him in the press.
Leshchenko revealed the existence in 2016 of the so-called Ukrainian “Black Ledger,” which allegedly contained a list of secret payments made by Ukraine’s pro-Russian Party of Regions to Paul Manafort among many others.
Leshchenko had adopted a strong anti-Trump stance, telling the Financial Times of London in August 2016 that “a Trump presidency would change the pro-Ukrainian agenda in American foreign policy” and that it was “important to show not only the corruption aspect, but that he is [a] pro-Russian candidate who can break the geopolitical balance in the world.” Leschenko noted that the majority of Ukrainian politicians were “on Hillary Clinton’s side.”
Nellie Ohr said she wasn’t aware how the connection between Leshchenko and FusionGPS was established, or if they were doing work for him, but she did agree that Leshchenko was “a source of information” and acknowledged that she then used that information in following up and formulating her opposition research.
Later in Ohr’s testimony, Leshchenko was briefly mentioned once again. She appeared to be very careful with her choice of wording—especially when Manafort’s name came up:
Ms. Sachsman Grooms: You mentioned that, at some point, somebody from Fusion GPS told you that they were giving you a tip that was based off of a source that was a Ukrainian source, Serhiy Leshchenko. Is that right?
Ms. Ohr: Yes. That they were—that they were giving me some information that had originated with him in some way.
Ms. Sachsman Grooms: Do you recall whether that information related to Mr. Manafort?Ms. Ohr: What I’ll say is that at the time—at the same meeting, if I recall correctly, that his name came up, this piece of paper that lists Mr. Manafort’s flights was given to me, and I’m not—I don’t recall exactly right now whether they said this particular piece of paper comes from Mr. Leshchenko or not.
At this point, the questioning abruptly moved on and no further questions involving either Manafort or Leshchenko were put forth. Ohr was never asked if she had ever met with Leshchenko directly.
- 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.