Sunday, February 23, 2020

Documentation That Bruce Ohr Was Pushing The Steele Dossier

We all know Bruce Ohr's story--Hey, I told the FBI this Steele "dossier" thing was unverified, that Steele had strong political motives, and all that. I was just a conduit of information. It was the FBI that ran with it.

It was always a very unlikely story, but Jeff Carlson has done the digging in the Horowtiz Dossier and has come up with documentation that Bruce Ohr contacted Steele's handler, Michael Gaeta (ak "Handling Agent 1"), within days of Ohr handing the "dossier" to McCabe and Lisa Page, to find out whether the FBI was doing anything with the Steele nonsense. Ohr had regular contact with the top levels of FBI management right there in DC--he didn't need to ask the Bureau's guy in Rome about that. Except that he probably wanted to pretend to be dealing at arms length with FBIHQ.

1) P. 99 of IG Report: Handling Agent 1 [Gaeta] stated that, prior to sending the reports [Steele Reports 80 & 94], ASAC 1 had contacted him to explain that the reports would be placed in a sub-file in NYFO and thereby "walled off" from agents in NYFO...

Josh Cremeans “DirtyTruth”
Replying to @AKA_RealDirty
@LindseyGrahamSC tells @MariaBartiromo he wants to find out how Andrew McCabe knew to get the document in New York when they couldn’t get the warrant in July of 2016. He wants to know how he even knew to go to New York.

10:02 AM - Feb 23, 2020

2) ...and that the Assistant Director in Charge of NYFO and the "Executive Assistant Director (EAD) level" [Michael Steinbach] at FBI Headquarters were aware of the reports' existence. 
3) Date of Steinbach's awareness [FBI HQ] likely just prior to 8-4-16.
But outside possibility that it was as early as 7-13-16
[Date ASAC first spoke w/Handling Agent 1]
See: Footnote 224 & P. 99 
4) Additional confirm - P. 273:
On August 3, 2016, Ohr emailed Handling Agent 1 asking to speak to him. Handling Agent 1 told us he talked with Ohr, who asked him if he had seen Steele's election reports and whether the FBI was doing anything with them.... 
5) Handling Agent 1 stated that he told Ohr that an executive assistant director at FBI Headquarters and executive management in the New York Field Office (NYFO) knew about Steele's reporting and were addressing it. 

I'd say the walls are closing in on Ohr. It seems clear that, in fact, Bruce Ohr was advocating for the Bureau to take action--albeit discretely. But this is undoubtedly not a new development. I imagine we'll be hearing lots more about Michael Gaeta as well as Joe Pientka.


  1. I have a theory:

    Horowitz, a Democrat, began as a conscientious IG when he discovered the amorous Strozk-Page texts and reported them.

    He had no idea that he was providing one of the main handles for prying open the lid of the Russia collusion hoax.

    Once he discovered that, he has been working to do as little IG-ing as possible.

    He couldn't hide the flagrant violations, so he didn't. But he has endeavored to obfuscate many of the interconnections, through obscure footnotes, etc. that make the conclusion of illegality unavoidable.

    At first, I thought 'here's a rare straight-shooter among Democrats.'

    Sad to say I was wrong.

    1. @mistcr

      Horowitz still thinks his prospects for future career advancement lie in currying favor with his colleagues in the Deep State. Cognitive dissonance is a bitch.

  2. Sounds like a bureaucratic dead drop and everybody trying to cover tracks and make it all look totally organic. Hmmm.

  3. UC swamp rat Horowitz has a history of doing "as little IG-ing as possible". That'swhy they like him. Same with his predecessor Glenn not-so-Fine, who slithered over to DOD IG.

    1. Ha! My experience with OIG came when Fine was in charge.

  4. From this I conclude it is McCabe, not Ohr, that is in greatest danger. How, indeed could he have known potentially useful (as in "helping to get the FISA warrant they just failed to get approved for Page") material about Carter Page was in the "walled-off" files of the NYFO in July, 2016.

    This is the clearest circumstantial evidence yet that McCabe was part of a conspiracy that secretly shared information with each other related to justifying politically motivated surveillance of the Trump campaign.

    I would also opine this is a good illustration of why Barr's DOJ didn't bother pursuing McCabe on charges of lying to investigators about leaking to the media; there are much bigger things McCabe may be charged with that related directly to conspiracy, and thus it was likely considered a waste of time and effort to pursue charges that are difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt as to intent to a DC jury, and which do not advance the proof of the over-arching conspiracy of which McCabe was a part.

    Now the declination starts to make sense.

    1. The material in the NYO files was only "walled off" from NY agents, not from the DD at FBIHQ.

      Ohr was probably misleading investigators at one point, just as he tried to mislead the House.

    2. But how would McCabe have even known of the existence of the material at NYFO, so as to even ask about it?

      It appears there is no official records of him being informed of it BEFORE he tells the people who tried and failed to get the the first attempted FISA on Page, to try the NYFO.

      That implies there is some sort of unofficial back-channel (or he is part of a conspiracy) by which he came to possess that information.

      Or, as Smiley says -- when he hears about a conversation in which one of the people suspected of being the Russian mole uses the phrase "Tinker, Tailor ..." --- "But you never said 'Tinker, Tailor,' did you?... however did he get hold of that, I wonder?"

    3. I'm speculating a bit here, but ...

      The reason Gaeta sent the two reports to NYO was almost certainly because #94 refers to Carter Page, and NYO had an asset file on Page. That's the point of the ASAC assuring Gaeta that the Steele material would be 'walled off', not available to NYO agents. McCabe would know about this material because Ohr had already provided the info to McCabe and Page at the end of July, after receiving it from Steele (after Bruce and Nellie met Steele for breakfast in DC). My assumption at this point is that McCabe did not want to be seen to be accepting material straight from Fusion GPS (Steele, through Ohr) because that would be accepting info from Hillary. He wanted it to appear to arise from normal investigation--Gaeta obtaining it through a confidential source overseas and forwarding it through channels to FBIHQ--to distance it from Hillary.

      There's more going on here than appears in the Horowitz report. For example, Gaeta had to get Victoria Nuland's (DoS) approval to travel from Rome to London to meet Steele--but that means he would also have had to have had approval from FBIHQ in the first place to conduct investigation in the territory of the London legat--before he ever applied to Nuland. As an old pal of McCabe from NYO days, I assume that Gaeta was trusted by McCabe and knew what McCabe wanted, but that doesn't appear in the Horowitz report as far as I know.

      I agree that this information points toward a "small group" conspiracy headed by McCabe with regard to operational stuff--Comey, I'm sure, would have been briefed.

    4. MW wrote:

      >>McCabe would know about this material because Ohr had already provided the info to McCabe and Page at the end of July,<<

      But according to the original article (AFAIK,) McCabe steered the crew who tried to get the FISA on Page in July to the NYFO BEFORE THE END OF JULY... IOW, before his meeting with Bruce & Nellie Ohr.. How would he have known in mid-July about the stuff Steele memoes Gaeta forwarded to NYFO?

    5. The NYO was involved because of Carter Page--his residence was there and his cooperation with the FBI occurred there. I presume that the first try for the FISA on Page originated with the NYO--that's the usual process, a FO originates. As many have pointed out, running the investigation out of HQ (as happened with the opening of CH) was NOT normal. But the FO works through HQ to get a FISA (and for other reasons), so there's nothing unusual, IMO, about McCabe becoming aware of all this, since it all ultimately related to Trump.

    6. IMO, it would be normal to have communication between NYO and HQ on a continuing basis on an important case--and this was the biggest case ever.

  5. Good news is more and more is coming out, such as Ohr’s involvement.

    I wonder if the copy of Hillary’s emails on Humas and Anthony Weiner’s laptop were ever reviewed and released?

    My gut feeling from the number of “recovered emails” due to judicial watch foia requests being released is no. And if no, is this about to change?

  6. I have been working on an article about Michael Gaeta.

    On July 5, 2016, Gaeta flew from Rome to London, got Report 80 from Christopher Steele and then flew back to Rome on that same day. Despite Gaeta's rush to get the report, he then sat on the report in Rome for 23 days before sending it to the FBI's New York Field Office (NYFO).

    In the meantime, Gaeta misled his supervisor, the FBI's Rome Legat, about what he was doing with the report. The Legat apparently thought that Gaeta would confer with the FBI's International Operations Division, which manages all the Legats.

    Gaeta's decision to send the report to the NYFO office instead of directly to the FBI's Counterintelligence Division is puzzling. The Rome Legat assumed that the report would be delivered to that Division promptly.

    Gaeta told Steele not to send him any more Dossier reports after Report 80. Gaeta told Steele to wait until he asked for more Dossier reports. Despite that order, Steele sent also Report 94 to Gaeta. Therefore Gaeta sent Reports 60 and 94 to the NYFO on July 28, 2016 -- which was 23 days after he had flown from Rome to London to meet with Steele.

    Once Reports 80 and 94 arrived at the NYFO, they remained in oblivion there until September 19, when they were delivered to the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane team.

    In other words, Gaeta essentially misplaced Steele's reports for a very long time -- from July 5 to September 19, 2016.

    I think (I still am studying this point) that Gaeta was not interviewed by the Horowitz team. The report indicates that the Rome Legat (not Gaeta himself) was asked for an explanation about why Gaeta apparently did not do anything with Steele's reports for such a long time. The Legat could not provide an explanation. Why wasn't Gaeta himself asked to explain?

    (Continued in my following comment)

    1. Correction

      Therefore Gaeta sent Reports 80 [not 60] and 94 to the NYFO on July 28, 2016 -- which was 23 days after he had flown from Rome to London to meet with Steele

  7. (Continued from my preceding comment)


    A similar misrouting of information happened with Alexander Downer's report. Downer delivered his report to the US Embassy in London. From there, the London Legat sent Downer's report to the FBI's Philadelphia Field Office, which subsequently sent it to FBI Headquarters.


    I suspect that Steele's reports and the Downer report were sent to field offices (instead of to FBI Headquarters) as deliberate delays. Someone wanted to study those reports before they reached FBI Headquarters.


    I wonder if someone preferred that Steele's reports NOT be considered by the Crossfire Hurricane team. Perhaps Steele's reports were potentially troublesome.

    Before Steele's reports eventually did reach the Crossfire Hurricane team on September 19, 2016, that team apparently felt it had enough evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The evidence was:

    * Oleg Smolenkov's reports to the CIA about such meddling being managed by Putin's Presidential Administration

    * CrowdStrike's claims that the Democrat Party had been hacked by Russian Intelligence

    * The purchase of political advertising on social media by the Internet Research Agency, based in Russia.

    That evidence sufficed for the US Intelligence Community's cabal that intended to use the supposed Russian meddling as a means to deal with an October Surprise -- the revelation of Hillary Clinton's e-mails a few days before the US election.

    Because that evidence sufficed, somebody preferred to keep -- at least for several weeks -- Steele's Dossier out of the story.

    It seems that Andrew McCabe, however, decided in mid-September to bring the Dossier reports out of the NYFO, where they had been sitting in oblivion since July.


    I think the cabal's original idea was that Trump would be ruined politically by revelations about his business dealings with organized crime in Russia and East Europe. The cabal felt certain that evidence for such dealings would be found by the US Intelligence Community.

    By the Spring of 2016, however, no such information was found, and so evidence eventually had to be concocted that Trump was controlled by or was colluding with Russian Intelligence.

    In other words, the burden of proof against Trump originally was assigned to the US officials who studied international crime -- officials like Bruce Ohr and like the FBI Legats. A network of such officials was trying to ruin Trump politically by assembling information that Trump was involved with organized crime in Russia and East Europe.

    That is why Ohr, the London Legat and Gaeta (assistant to the Rome Legat) were involved in some of the funny business of the RussiaGate hoax.

    1. So the intention was to not use the incredibly dodgy Steele dossier reports unless they absolutely had to--because it was bound to be found full of nonsense when examined under the full light of day. I.e., if offered too soon before the election, there would be sufficient time to debunk it, with sentiment rebounding sympathetically to the candidate they were trying to destroy--Trump.

    2. I think the biggest problem with being found to have used the Steele dossier was that it led straight back to the Hillary campaign and the laundering of money through her law firm to hide the links to Fusion GPS. The trick, so to speak, was to find some other predication to open the Crossfire Hurricane (Papadopoulos!) then launder the Steele material through normal investigative channels (Gaeta and NYO) and finally use it to get the FISA.

    3. @Mike

      These were incredibly complex machinations. I look forward to the definitive disclosure of who -- precisely -- were the plot draftsmen and puppet masters...

    4. Cassander--Good point, re complex machinations.

      This is how we reconstruct the past to tell a (logical) story that makes sense in hindsight. Rarely does it unfold in such a seamless manner.

      My view has been that many likeminded people (FBI/DOJ/CIA) were making efforts in their realm to uncover dirt (of any description) that would stop Trump, whether embarrassing behavior or association. Rumor, innuendo, and speculation (especially about an "investigation") reported/leaked in mass media should/would be sufficient to effect the outcome.

      This is why CH was invented, and the campaign/Trump was not given a defensive natsec briefing.

      (Remember the mainstream media strategy throughout the campaign--the MSM assumed that if they exposed Trump sufficiently, he would belly flop, and Hillary would win it in a walk. This conventional wisdom was wrong.)

      The activities weren't coordinated (no puppet master), except to the extent something surfaced, was useful, and made its way up the chain. This is the unstated premise of a "wink and a nod." The efforts were on parallel tracks, not pyramid as centrally controlled, so that rumors that surfaced from different loci would be reported by media as fact.

      Brennen was doing his thing (Haspel in London/Downer/Halper/Mifsud), Comey was doing his thing (McCabe/Strzok/etc), Ohr carried on when Steele was dropped by FBI, Clinton/DNC/FusionGPS/Simpson had Steele talking to media)--everyone's in the boat pulling an oar. No need for a coxswain, they know where the finish line is...

  8. fyi

    >POTUS kept mentioning "Gone With the Wind" at his rallies the past few days.

    The FBI just dropped this.

    Not sure the significance, yet...<

  9. One interesting coincidences in dates is Thursday, July 28, 2016.

    On that date, the FBI's Philadelphia Field Office sent the Downer report to the Cyber Counterintelligence Coordination Section at FBI Headquarters in Washington DC. The report was at that Field Office because the London Legat said that the previous London Legat was at that Field Office and would know what to do with the Downer report.

    The Downer report was delivered to FBI Headquarters on Thursday, July 28, and then the FBI Headquarters officials worked through the weekend to establish the Crossfire Hurricane investigation on Sunday, July 31.

    On that same July 28, Gaeta sent Steele's Reports 80 and 94 to the FBI's New York Field Office (not to FBI Headquarters). Gaeta had obtained Report 80 on July 5 and had obtained Report 94 on about July 12.

    It seems, therefore, that shortly before July 28, someone decided to route the Downer report through the Philadelphia Field Office and to route Steele's Reports 80 and 94 through the New York Field Office.

    Steele's reports remained in oblivion at the NYFO until September 19, when Andrew McCabe arranged for them to be forwarded to the Crossfire Hurricane team in FBI Headquarters.


    Although FBI Headquarters officials worked through the weekend to establish Crossfire Hurricane on Sunday, the Crossfire Hurricane investigators at Headquarters apparently did little for many weeks.

    Rather, FBI field offices were directed to collect information about Papadopoulos, Page, Flynn and Manafort. It seems from the Horowitz report that the Headquarters team did very little that was responsive to the Downer report.

    I think that the Headquarters team was trying to develop the evidence that Russia was hacking Democrat computers and was buying political ads on social media.

    The FBI Headquarters team's goal was to prepare for the October Surprise. If Hillary Clinton's e-mails were revealed a few days before the election, then the FBI was preparing to argue that the e-mails had been stolen AND THEN ALTERED by Russian Intelligence. That preparation was urgent.

    Framing Papadopoulos, Page, Flynn and Manafort was not so urgent.

    In this situation, Steele's Dossier seemed, at least for a while, to be more troublesome that helpful.

    1. The Dossier material -- in particular, the part that delt with Page's trip to Moscow, became important only fAFTER the first attempted FISA warrant application failed in July.

      What an amazing coincidence that Steele's memo about Page's trip to Moscow -- claiming he met with high ranking Russian Officials and was offered a lucrative deal to persuade a Trump administration to dial back sanctions -- just happens to be delivered by Steele after the first FISA warrant application does not get approved.

      What was it Smiley said about topicality in regard to foreign intelligence? Oh, yes: "Topicality is always suspect."

    2. Yes, I think that happened several times. That was one point of the Rome meeting of Steele and the FBI, to make clear what was needed to get the FISA app past Stu Evans at DoJ.

    3. MS wrote:

      >>The FBI Headquarters team's goal was to prepare for the October Surprise. If Hillary Clinton's e-mails were revealed a few days before the election, then the FBI was preparing to argue that the e-mails had been stolen AND THEN ALTERED by Russian Intelligence. That preparation was urgent. <<

      This is an interesting point: the claim that the Russkies altered the DNC emails published by Wikileaks creates a motive for the FBI never demanding/getting a subpoena to exam the DNC computers, and instead taking Crowdstrike's report in leiu of a hands-on forensic exam, which could have included comparing Wikileaks versions of DNC emails with teh originals preserved on the DNC computers that were claimed to have been hacked.

      By NOT obtaining and forensically examining, and archiving the DNC computer data, the FBI had no means to disprove a false claim of Russian tampering of email content.

      In short, willful ignorance of evidence.

  10. From Washington Examiner

    (Sounds like folks are setting up a fall guy)


    "The Justice Department Inspector watchdog referred FBI agent Stephen Somma for disciplinary review after an investigation into alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuses.

    Somma, a counterintelligence investigator in the FBI's New York field office, was identified only as "Case Agent 1" in Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report, released in December. Sources told the New York Times that Somma is that official. The FBI did not comment for the report."

    Also note the reaffirmation that the IG found no political bias.

    Thing is, and this is being charitable, Horowitz's report sounds like someone who does not believe the people he interviewed, but due to his role had to state certain things (ie no political bias) and then documented the heck out it showing the bias and illegality.

    1. Somma will probably have something to say about being a fall guy. I don't buy for a moment that he was "primarily responsible" in a truly meaningful sense. FBIHQ would have had loads of info re Carter Page. Moreover, we already know that Comey met with Loretta Lynch about Page and others almost immediately after Page was named to the Trump foreign policy team. If that goes down--using Somma as a fall guy--it's a coverup.