At first glance this leak is similar to that of James Baker's testimony: there doesn't appear to be any bombshells, per se, but it does provide confirmation of the role played by the subject.
The obvious takeaway from Nellie's testimony--to the extent that it was leaked--is that she researched travel of Trump's family as well as any links between Trump and Russian "oligarchs":
One area of focus was Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s two oldest children.
“But in terms of actually performing research, did you begin to break out President Trump’s family in terms of Melania Trump, all of his children? Were you doing independent research based off of each family member?” one lawmaker asked Ohr.
“I did some,” Ohr said. “As I recall, I did some research on all of them, but not into much depth.”
“How about Donald Trump Jr.? Did you do more in-depth research on Donald Trump Jr. than some of the others?” she was asked.
“I’m afraid it was relatively superficial. It was,” adding that, “I looked into some of his travels and you know not sure how much detail I remember, at this point.”
“I looked into some of her travels,” said Ohr.
The goal was “to see whether they were involved in dealings and transactions with people who had had suspicious pasts.”
Nellie Ohr also testified that she investigated any links between Russian oligarchs and the Trump real estate empire.
I think sundance at CTH hits on the significance of this revelation/confirmation. For most people this type of research seems relatively innocuous, but just ask yourself: Where would you get that kind of information? The answer seems clear: The revelation in this is the implicit confirmation that Nellie was accessing data from the FBI/NSA databases and, therefore, that Fusion GPS--as suspected--had been given private contractor access to those databases by James Comey's FBI. This was the gross abuse that Admiral Mike Rogers warned the Chief FISC Judge about--and also warned Donald Trump about, within days of the election, when he traveled personally to Trump Tower in NYC.
sundance also points out that a central mistake in the Steele "dossier" was the mistake about Michael Cohen's travel to Prague. The assumption has to be that this was Nellie's mistake--since she was doing the travel research--incorporated not only into the dossier but, crucially, into the FISA application itself. What made this crucial was that this happened at a point in time (October, 2016, shortly before the election) when Manafort and Carter Page were no longer active in the Trump campaign and the FBI was frantically trying to find a new and at least superficially plausible link between Trump and Russia.
As I argued in The FBI: Working Hand In Glove With Clinton Operatives, that supposed travel to Prague, usually regarded as an obscure miscue in the dossier, in fact was crucial to obtaining the FISA coverage that was sought. The supposed Cohen to Prague travel allowed the FBI and DoJ to claim to the FISC that they had some sort of concrete verification of information in the dossier's narrative. The FBI claimed to the FISC that Steele's source said Cohen was coordinating Trump/Russia collusion through "clandestine" meetings with Russian intel operatives in Prague--and we verified Steele's source information regarding Cohen's travel through NSA databases. That would surely have appeared to a FISC judge as raising the dossier to the level of something like probable cause, and would have made the FBI appear to have been doing solid investigation--rather than dealing in manufactured narratives funded by the Clinton campaign.
So, not exactly bombshell stuff for those who have been following the Russia Hoax, but solid confirmation of how the Russia Hoax worked. It also presents a picture of the inner workings at Fusion GPS, including the coordination between Steele and Nellie. Finally, we also get a better picture of how the FBI/DoJ fraud on the FISC worked in practice.
UPDATE: Commenter Mike Sylwester reminded me of something I had intended to include. I was disappointed that the partial leak failed to include anything about why Nellie Ohr, Russian history expert, age 55, suddenly obtained a ham radio license in 2016 while she was busily researching Trump travel. Surely they asked her about that? Ham radio is one of the few reliable ways to evade NSA's global dragnet, certainly within a 5-10 mile radius in the DC area. Nor did she need a ham radio license to do her travel research. Here's a great, great article about Nellie and her ham license: Did Fusion GPS’s Anti-Trump Researcher Avoid Surveillance With A Ham Radio? And if you want some more technical details as well as savvy analysis re
Nellie H. Ohr,
Call sign: KM4UDZ
6435 Tucker Ave
McLean, VA 22101
here's the place to go: The Mechanics of Deception. Here's just a small sample of why this aspect of Nellie's life during the election campaign of 2016 should be of absorbing interest:
* Her professional profile does not show her to be the techie type. She doesn’t possess any hacker, computer, or engineering skills (which is what typically motivates people to get an Amateur Radio license).
* She doesn’t belong to any ARRL radio club in the Fairfax area
* The radio clubs in her registration area have no records of administering the exam (Ham Radio exams are typically administered by the local ARRL club).
* Her call sign, KM4UDZ, shows no public activity which is odd, because new Hams are typically very chatty and can’t stay off the air when they first get their license....
The radio class limits would only give her a line of sight range of 5-10 miles. In a repeater mode, she could push the range to 20-200 miles. If you don’t think that a 10-mile range is sufficient, think again. It is likely that Ohr’s rationale for using a Ham radio was a substitution for a cell and landline phones in order to communicate with person(s) nearby. As you can see from the map below, even with a 7.5 radius she was well within the range of the entire downtown Washington D.C. area.