DOJ official told lawmakers Russia had Trump ‘over a barrel’: Report

August 31, 2018

Justice Department official Bruce Ohr told lawmakers this week that former British spy Christopher Steele said Russian intelligence officials believed they had President Trump “over a barrel,” The Associated Press reported Friday.

Mr. Ohr’s statement reportedly came Tuesday when he testified for roughly eight hours in a closed-door session before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.

Mr. Steele’s comments came during a July 2016 breakfast meeting, AP reported.

It is not clear from the report why Mr. Steele, who compiled and distributed the salacious anti-Trump dossier that started the Russia probe, believed Russia had the influence over Trump.

Mr. Ohr told lawmakers that Mr. Steele informed him that key Trump campaign aide Carter Page had met with higher-ranking Russian Intelligence officials than he previously indicated.

The so-called Steele dossier was used as the basis for the FBI to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surviellance Act (FISA) warrant for Mr. Page.

Mr. Page denied the AP report in a tweet Friday.

“The corrupt DOJ, co-conspirators in the DNV and their high-priced consultants correctly believed they had American democracy and the FISA Court over a barrel in 2016,” he wrote.

Mr. Ohr also told lawmakers that he believed Mr. Steele was credible but he didn’t have any knowledge of whether his July 2016 comment about Mr. Trump was accurate.

Update hourly