The long-anticipated report from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz released Monday criticized department attorney Bruce Ohr at length for failing to report repeated contacts with former British spy Christopher Steele.
Steele, the author of the debunked Steele dossier that was used to justify a federal investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign, met with Ohr 12 times after Steele was terminated as a confidential human source by the bureau. As the report notes, Ohr failed to report the repeated interactions with Steele to his DOJ supervisors, depriving the department of the opportunity to request that Ohr halt communication with the fired informant. Instead, Ohr continued to feed Steele’s information to the department and FBI, circumventing Steele’s termination as a reliable source.
According to the report, Ohr acknowledged to the DOJ that it was because of the possibility he would be told to stop these meetings with Steele that he chose not to report them to his direct supervisors.
While Horowitz stopped short of recommending Ohr for a criminal referral, the DOJ inspector general spent more than 36 pages of the report singling out the bureaucrat for circumventing his supervisors and referred Ohr to the Office of Professional Responsibility. Horowitz also referred Ohr’s actions to his supervisors in the criminal justice division, leaving the door open to future criminal prosecution.
“We found that, while no Department or ODAG policy specifically prohibited Ohr’s activities, Ohr was clearly cognizant of his responsibility to inform his supervisors of his interactions with Steele, the FBI, and State Department,” the report states. “We are referring our finding to the Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility for any action it deems appropriate. We are also providing our finding to Ohr’s current supervisors in CRM for any action they deem appropriate.”