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In Surprise Move, House Republican Releases Bruce Ohr Transcript

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Saying that his patience with the Justice Department “has grown thin,” Georgia Rep. Doug Collins on Friday unilaterally released a 268-page transcript of a deposition that Justice Department official Bruce Ohr gave to Congress last August.

Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, took the unusual step by reading a statement on the House floor and providing a link to the Ohr transcript in the public record.

In 2016 and 2017, Ohr served as a back channel between the FBI and Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the anti-Trump dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

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Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked as a contractor for Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that hired Steele.

Ohr was interviewed on Aug. 28, 2018, by a task force of members from the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees.

Collins said Friday that he plans to release additional transcripts from interviews conducted by the task force. Lawmakers have also interviewed Nellie Ohr and FBI and Justice Department officials such as former FBI general counsel James Baker and former FBI attorney Lisa Page.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we gave DOJ an opportunity to review them for information that would endanger national security, but after many months and little progress, our patience has grown thin,” Collins said.

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“The proposed redactions have nothing to do with national security and are anathema to our goal of government transparency,” he continued, adding that “I am, therefore, today making one of these transcripts public.”

“I intend to make other transcripts public soon. I’m willing to consider any reasonable redactions DOJ makes in a timely manner, but won’t allow these transcripts to remain shrouded in secrecy.”

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