Justice Department lawyer said Russia had Donald Trump ‘over a barrel’

Justice Department official Bruce Ohr arrives for a closed hearing of the House Judiciary and House Oversight committees on Capitol Hill in Washington. A former British spy told Ohr a senior Justice Department lawyer

That's what lawmakers were told this week by a senior Justice Department lawyer during a private interview. McQuade says, previously, career Justice Department people found Trump's criticisms of Ohr to be bewildering.

Citing current and former officials and associates of Deripaska, the Times reported that investigators were hoping for information from Deripaska on Russian organized crime during a September 2015 meeting and, in a meeting a year later, on possible Russian aid to Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

In questioning Ohr, lawmakers Elijah Cummings and Jerrold Nadler said, Republicans were selective about his communications with Steele to create "a highly misleading narrative with factually inaccurate interpretations and conjecture" that they were discussing Trump.

It was not clear from Ohr's interview whether Steele was directly told that or had picked that up through his contacts, but the broader sentiment is echoed in Steele's dossier.

Some Republicans charge that Mr Steele's Russian Federation dossier, which contains a number of inflammatory and salacious allegations about Mr Trump, was used improperly by Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials to convince the Fisa court to extend an eavesdropping warrant against a Trump adviser. For him to be in the Justice Department and to be doing what he did, that is a disgrace.

Trump has called the Russian Federation investigation a "witch hunt" and has denied any collusion between his campaign and Moscow. 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. But memos authored by Republicans and Democrats and declassified this year show the probe was triggered by information the USA government received earlier about the Russian contacts of then-Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos. The investigation's lead agent, Peter Strzok, told lawmakers last month that "it was not Mr. Ohr who provided the initial documents that I became aware of in mid-September".

Goodlatte was not present for the interview with Ohr, which was held Aug. 28 during the House's August recess.

Buhari off to China with wife, daughter
Recently in July, during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Africa, China signed cooperation documents with Senegal and Rwanda .

Ohr first began discussing Deripaska during a November 21, 2014 meeting in Washington, DC.

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.

Ohr also told Congress that Steele told him that Page had met with more senior Russian officials than he had acknowledged.

In December 2017, Ohr was reassigned from his job in the deputy attorney general's office and given new responsibilities. They met in the mid-2000s, people who know Ohr said, as both fought against the evolving threat of Russian organized crime for their respective countries.

Ohr was told Sessions and Rosenstein did not want him in the post because it involved White House meetings, the sources told the AP.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

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