By Chuck Ross
Nellie Ohr, the wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, is refusing to appear before Congress for a closed-door hearing that was scheduled to take place this Friday, sources tell The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Ohr, who worked for Fusion GPS, the firm behind the Steele dossier, was scheduled to appear for interviews during a joint session with the House Judiciary and House Oversight & Government Reform committees. But two congressional sources said that she is not cooperating with the requests and will have to be subpoenaed to compel her appearance.
The sources also said that former FBI general counsel James Baker is not cooperating with the committees’ request for an interview.
“The Committee continues to seek the testimony of Nellie Ohr and Jim Baker and will compel their testimony if necessary,” an aide to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte told TheDCNF.
Ohr was slated to appear before the committees to discuss her work for Fusion GPS. Ohr, an expert on Russian affairs, worked for Fusion GPS from December 2015 until just after the election. (RELATED: Here Is Who Bruce Ohr Did And Did Not Tell About His Dossier Contacts)
Bruce Ohr, the former assistant deputy attorney general, was in contact with dossier author Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson before and after the election.
The Ohrs both met Steele, a former British spy, in Washington, D.C. on July 30, 2016, a day before the FBI formally opened its counterintelligence investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
Congressional sources have told TheDCNF that Bruce Ohr briefed then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe about his interaction with Steele within days of the meeting.
Ohr’s contacts with Steele increased after the FBI cut ties with the dossier author just before the election because of unauthorized contacts with the press. Ohr provided at least a dozen briefings to the FBI about his interactions with Steele from November 2016 to May 2017. (RELATED: Here’s How Bruce Ohr’s Congressional Testimony Contracted With Glenn Simpson’s)
Republicans in Congress have questioned why the FBI continued to rely on Ohr to provide back channel information from Steele after they determined that he was no longer fit to be a confidential source.
Steele’s unverified dossier is a focus of the congressional probe because the FBI relied on it to obtain four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Baker, a close ally of former FBI Director James Comey’s, resigned from the FBI on May 4. Congress has wanted to quiz him about his knowledge of the Trump-Russia probe as well as the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Neither Ohr nor Baker responded to emails seeking comment.