Byron York: The Link Between Christopher Steele And DOJ Official Bruce Ohr


Byron York on emails that show ex-British spy Christopher Steele and former United States associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr were in frequent contact and discussed research for his infamous dossier.

From Wednesday's Ingraham Angle:

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: They're breaking developments tonight about the link between Christopher Steele, the Justice Department and a Russian oligarch tied to Vladimir Putin. Joining us now with more, Washington Examiner's Byron York who breaking the stories tonight. Byron, tell us what you have learned.

BYRON YORK, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, we are trying to find out about the origins of the dossier, long search. And what we found out through some new emails that have been released is that the dossier's author, Christopher Steele, the former British spy, was in touch with an official at the Justice Department, Bruce Ohr, a lot earlier than we thought. They were exchanging emails in January of 2016. And what was interesting here is that Steele was writing to Bruce Ohr at the Justice Department and he was talking about a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, and Deripaska had been involved with Paul Manafort and the 2000s.

INGRAHAM: They got in litigation with each other.

YORK: They're both suing each other.

INGRAHAM: He's suing. He's not a fan of Manafort although he doesn't think what is happening to Manafort is fair.

YORK: They both claim the other one was stealing from the other. His visa was revoked for a while because of suspicions that he was involved in Russian organized crime, Deripaska, that is.

INGRAHAM: The details on that is never clear either. They don't really give you clear details on that.

YORK: It appears that Christopher Steele when he's writing these emails is kind of lobbying for Oleg Deripaska, saying he wants to come back to the United States for a meeting, and it looks like it's going to get a visa and that's a really good thing because we are hearing he's not really a tool of the Kremlin. It was like he was lobbying on his behalf. And you're thinking what in the world is going on here? And then these conversations kind of morph at midyear 2016 into a dossier conversation.

INGRAHAM: Are you saying you think Oleg Deripaska had something to do with the dossier?

YORK: I don't know. He was in contact with Christopher Steele.

INGRAHAM: Maybe he can have two conversations going on at the same time. Why do they have to be related?

YORK: That's entirely possible. When Mark Warner, the Democratic leader on the into the Senate Intelligence Committee, wanted to get in touch with Christopher Steele he went to the publicist -- excuse me, the lobbyist who worked for both Deripaska and Steele. It's just an odd situation.

Then, midyear 2016, Christopher Steele says to Ohr, we need to talk. I need to talk about some other business, but I specifically want to discuss with you informally and separately, and it concerns our favorite business tycoon. And now most people who have read this believe that's Donald Trump, because that's just a few days before Christopher Steele actually tells the FBI, gives them the first installment of his dossier, which is that famous Moscow hotel room scene.

INGRAHAM: So does that get us further down the road to determining the original provenance of the dossier, who contributed to it?

YORK: It gets us further down the road to who in the Justice Department in the U.S. government knew about what was going on and when they knew it.

INGRAHAM: We still don't know the details of that, which is unbelievable after all this time. They don't want anyone to know the details.

YORK: Because even if you are in Congress and have subpoena power, it's --

INGRAHAM: They won't give you the information. There's a reason they won't give us information. Fascinating stuff, Byron, thank you so much for that report tonight.

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