NY Times has Bruce Ohr's Back, Again, Still ..... And this IS about Russian Collusion

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Don’t ya love the timing of certain stories in the NYT or WaPo? Stories that seem to pop up out of nowhere but are somehow relevant to today. Their common characteristics:


- Not "news" in that the events that did not just happen

- Not the result of months of exhaustive investigative reporting

- Story seems to have dropped out of the sky into the laps of the reporters

- Details are somehow related to something going on right now, no matter how old the story events

- Story relies heavily on "current and former _________ officials", many anonymous 

- Story never explains the break down of "current" vs "former", though feels like heavily skewed toward the latter

- Story almost always negative for Trump's interests and/or positive for his detractors or "deep state" players. 


So this weekend we have this beaut of a story focused on Bruce Ohr and his activities at DoJ and his much longer term relationship with Steele (back to 2007!). Really "old news" and yet here it is, timed to potentially front run the public becoming more familiar with Mr. Ohr's closed door congressional testimony or future public hearings. And the story seems to be providing air cover for Ohr and others at Justice who may find their names in the public domain, courtesy of Mr. Ohr. 


Again, the timing is quite curious, almost as if the Times is trying to help protect the permanent bureaucracy from accusations of mischief. 


N.Y. Times Throws Up a Smokescreen for Bruce Ohr

Julie Kelly

If this weekend’s bombshell story in the New York Times is to be believed, the nation’s top law enforcement agency under Barack Obama was not only corrupt, it was really dumb, too.


In an effort to get ahead of the release of Bruce Ohr’s private congressional testimony—which undoubtedly will include more stunning details about the depth of his relationship with a paid political operative from another country—and mitigate the damage from Ohr’s recently released emails, the Times is already working to cover the Justice Department official’s tracks.


The article, “Agents Tried to Flip Russian Oligarchs. The Fallout Spread to Trump,” is an almost laughable attempt to justify Ohr’s decade-long collaboration with Christopher Steele, the former British spy and author of the infamous dossier that alleged the Putin regime was working with the Trump campaign in 2016.


Reporters Kenneth Vogel and Matthew Rosenberg expose a super-secret government plan to persuade six Russian billionaires, including Oleg Deripaska, to become FBI assets. (Deripaska has figured into Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecution of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager.) One of the Justice Department officials in on the alleged oligarch-flipping plan was Bruce Ohr.


The reporters cite unnamed former and current Justice Department officials who expressed concern that President Trump and his supporters would “use the program’s secrecy as a screen with which they could cherry-pick facts and present them, sheared of context, to undermine the special counsel’s investigation.” But a closer look at what this article says—and more importantly, what it doesn’t say—makes it clear that Vogel and Rosenberg are running cover for Ohr, even portraying him as a victim of unfair attacks by the president.


The article reveals that Ohr’s relationship with Steele, a one-time FBI source, dates to 2007. The two started discussing plans to “cultivate” Deripaska in 2014, long after Steele left the British government and started his own consulting business. But it probably wasn’t the case that these two former crime-fighting colleagues hatched a genius plan to convince one of the richest men in the world to turn on a vengeful Russian authoritarian president. It’s more likely that Steele, who now claims Deripaska as a client, was attempting to get U.S. officials to reinstate the Russian’s visa, which was revoked in 2006. (A story, coincidentally, that Fusion GPS principal Glenn Simpson broke in 2007 while he was a reporter with the Wall Street Journal. In his Senate testimony last year, Simpson said his article caused Deripaska “a lot of embarrassment and trouble with his business and led to [Deripaska] hiring a lobbyist and trying to get involved with getting a visa to the U.S.”)


Steele’s plea apparently worked. According to the Times article, the “F.B.I. pushed the [Obama] State Department to allow Deripaska to travel to New York on a Russian diplomatic passport as part of a Russian government delegation to the United Nations General Assembly. The State Department previously had rejected some of Deripaska’s efforts to secure visas to enter the United States but it approved diplomatic visa requests in 2015 and 2016.” Allowing Deripaska back into the country purportedly was to facilitate meetings between law enforcement officials and the oligarch to flip him into an intelligence asset: only one meeting occurred in 2015. The intermediary for the meeting? Christopher Steele. The U.S. official in attendance? Bruce Ohr.


Tell me again who was conspiring with the Russians?


Edited by tomkaz

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