December 13, 2017 / 9:44 PM / 2 years ago

Trump 'dossier' firm: Republicans leaked bank records in retaliation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A firm that commissioned a “dossier” detailing links between then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia said in a court filing that Republicans leaked the company’s banking data to the media for partisan political purposes.

Democrats have said Republicans use leaks to undermine investigations into Trump’s campaign both by Congress and Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Republicans have accused Democrats of leaking information to undermine the Trump administration.

Republican attacks on Mueller’s probe of U.S. allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump and possible collusion with Moscow officials have included efforts to discredit the dossier. The Kremlin denies the allegations of meddling and Trump denies any collusion.

Fusion GPS, in a notice to a federal judge in Washington late on Tuesday, said that a subpoena sent by the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee and its chairman, Devin Nunes, to the firm’s bank was “part of an ongoing effort to discredit Fusion in retaliation for its role in undertaking research” into Trump during the election.

Fusion’s court document said that information its founder, Glenn Simpson, provided to the committee during closed door testimony in November then surfaced in media reports.

Nunes and Representative Mike Conaway, the Republican panel member who has led some of its Trump-related investigations, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Information Simpson provided to the committee that was reported in the media included Simpson meeting with Bruce Ohr, a senior Justice Department official, the court document said. Ohr had been assigned to the office of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the prosecutor who appointed Mueller to lead the Russia probe.

Ohr has been moved out of Rosenstein’s office to a Justice Department unit dealing with drugs and organized crime, the department said. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Ohr meeting with Simpson.

Fusion also complained about a Fox News report which said Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, had worked as a subcontractor for Fusion. An expert on Russia and the former Soviet Union who studied at Harvard and Stanford universities, her dealings with Fusion were confidential until Simpson told the closed committee hearing about them, the court filing said.

Nellie Ohr could not immediately be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for Fusion GPS said she had done work for the firm.

A source familiar with Fusion’s work said the Ohrs are experts on Russian organized crime, which is how they came in contact with Simpson and Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who compiled the dossier. 

Trump and his supporters have denied the dossier’s contents outlining Russian financial and personal links to Trump’s campaign. 

Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by John Walcott and Grant McCool

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