The story surrounding the infamous Steele dossier continues to unravel as more details emerge about the various players in the scheme to compile the anti-Trump, Russian-sourced propaganda and then use it against candidate-turned-President Donald Trump.
In light of new details that have emerged, certain Republican committee leaders have “run out of patience” with the Department of Justice and FBI’s stonewalling and are now threatening to subpoena specific DOJ employees for testimony over their alleged role in the dossier scheme.
Extensive Ohr-Steele connection
According to reports from the Hill and Fox News, a since-demoted DOJ official, former associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr, maintained extensive written contact with the dossier compiler, ex-British spy Christopher Steele, long after Steele had been cut loose from the FBI.
It would appear that Ohr — whose wife Nellie worked for Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that hired Steele on behalf of the Clinton campaign and Democrat National Committee — served as a conduit between Steele and former contacts at the FBI with regard to the dossier and other anti-Trump efforts after Steele had been “suspended and terminated” for leaking the dossier information to the media.
Gowdy wants answers
Rep. Trey Gowdy, chair of the House Oversight Committee and member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News host Shannon Bream on Friday that his committees, along with the House Judiciary Committee led by chairman Bob Goodlatte, want to speak with Ohr and Steele and are prepared to subpoena their testimony if necessary.
Gowdy explained that the “troubling” Ohr/Steele messages weren’t new to him — in fact, he may have been the first member of Congress to read them last year — and that both his and Goodlatte’s committee had plenty of questions that needed to be answered.
Will subpeona if necessary
Asked if subpoenas would soon be issued, Gowdy replied that subpoenas shouldn’t have to be issued for current government employees, but noted that multiple requests to the DOJ for interviews with Ohr and others had “fallen on deaf ears” and been ignored thus far.
“Chairman Goodlatte is a very patient man, but we have run out of patience,” stated Gowdy. “They either need to set this for a date-certain, or there will be a subpoena issued.”
“The Speaker will back it up, Goodlatte will back it up, the House will back it up,” he added. “There is no reason not to make (Ohr) available for a deposition or transcribed interview.”
Watch Gowdy’s full interview with Fox News below:
Chairman Gowdy just made it clear that he and Goodlatte are fed up with the DOJ’s stonewalling of Congressional efforts to get to the bottom of the anti-Trump dossier scheme, and it is a safe assumption that their impatience is shared by millions of Americans.
Whether the DOJ will honor the repeated requests for an interview with Ohr and others or force the committees to issue subpoenas remains to be seen, but Gowdy made clear that, one way or another, Ohr’s testimony will eventually be heard.