Why Was Andrew Weissmann Kept 'in the Loop' by Bruce Ohr?

A week ago, August 27th, Bruce Ohr, the demoted former Associate Deputy Attorney General, testified before the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees. Among the newsworthy items that emerged, a few stand out. One of course is that his wife Nellie began working for Glenn Simpson's opposition research outfit, Fusion GPS, back in 2015 -- adding fuel to the speculation that she was involved as an FBI contractor in illegally mining NSA databases for information on GOP presidential candidates. Another item, highlighted by Chuck Ross at The Daily Caller, was that Ohr kept a number of FBI and DoJ colleagues "in the loop" regarding his highly irregular contacts with Christopher Steele, the "former" MI6 spook. Specifically:

Sources familiar with Ohr’s testimony before the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Ohr informed Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page about his interactions with Steele and Simpson. He also informed Justice Department prosecutor Andrew Weissmann about his dossier-related work.

Weissmann is now serving as right-hand man to Robert Mueller at the special counsel’s office.

It seems to me that the question that needs to be asked is: Why Andrew Weissmann? Why was Ohr keeping Weissmann, who was at the time head of DoJ's Criminal Fraud Section, in the loop on what to all appearances was a Counterintelligence investigation? If Ohr kept Weissmann in the loop out of friendship, that still breaks the first rule of conspiratorial operations: need to know. Unless ... Weissmann was contributing or could potentially contribute something of value to the conspiracy.

What Weissmann's contribution to the Russia hoax might have been is suggested by his previous career.

Weissmann is best known as a hard charging prosecutor, but one with a reputation for being willing to take ethical shortcuts to make the big case. This led, in 2005, to the US Supreme Court unanimously overturning the conviction in his biggest case: Arthur Anderson, part of the Enron Scandal. The criticism of Weissmann's "intimidating" "scorched earth" tactics that arose from the case made him a hot potato in the legal world, but fortunately for him he landed on his feet -- as Special Counsel to a friend and former colleague, FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Screen grab YouTube

This was Weissmann's first gig at the FBI, and lasted probably less than a full year while he looked for a more lucrative position. By the end of 2005, Weissmann went into private practice, becoming a partner at Jenner & Block in New York. But in 2011, Weissmann returned to the FBI and his mentor Mueller, serving as General Counsel under Mueller until the end of Mueller's term in September 2013.

He continued at the FBI under James Comey until January 2015, when he returned to DoJ as head of the Criminal Fraud Section. His final career move, to date, was his reunion with Mueller, joining Mueller's Special Counsel team in June 2017.

What was Weissmann doing as General Counsel at the FBI? According to DoJ:

"The General Counsel of the FBI is ultimately responsible for all of the legal affairs of the FBI. ... The General Counsel interacts regularly with all of the elements of the FBI, the Justice Department, the U.S. Intelligence Community, a range of other government agencies, foreign partners...."

You get the drift. During his four years as General Counsel at the FBI, Weissmann would have been interacting on a daily basis with FBI management at the very highest levels, certainly including the Director (Mueller, then Comey) and Deputy Director -- with additional contact with the highest levels in all important Divisions. Beyond that, however, he would have been developing contacts throughout the Intelligence Community and with "foreign partners" -- prominently including the British intelligence agencies. The appeal of having Weissmann "in the loop" of the Russia hoax is obvious -- he would be a trusted contact with the top levels of the FBI and would have a wide range of other useful contacts.

But Weissmann's connections to the FBI would not have been the end of his usefulness. Weissmann was well known to be a Hillary Clinton partisan, and even attended the Clinton election night surprise wake. Just how extensive were Weissmann's contacts with the Clinton campaign? Here the waters are murky. Nevertheless, Weissmann is known to have had contacts with Mary Jacoby, the wife of Glenn Simpson, as well as with Simpson himself.

Aaron Klein has detailed remarkable new information involving contacts of Edward Lieberman with the Russians involved in the famous Trump Tower meeting. Not only on the days surrounding that meeting, but the very day of the meeting. Edward Lieberman is a lawyer and an associate of Madeline Albright, whose expertise involves “multi-billion dollar privatizations of oil and gas assets in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Russia.” He was also the husband of the late Evelyn Lieberman, a Deputy Chief of Staff in the Clinton White House.

Was Bruce Ohr "in the loop" regarding the Trump Tower meeting -- which I regard as a clear attempt to set up Donald Trump Jr. and/or Jared Kushner in a quid-pro-quo arrangement for supposed "dirt" on Hillary Clinton? If Ohr knew of this attempted setup of the Trump campaign, there would seem to be little doubt that Weissmann also knew. Further, since both would have known of the connection of Fusion GPS to the Clinton campaign, was there possibly a more direct connection to the Clinton campaign, through Weissman?

Finally, when it came time to select a Special Counsel, would not Weissmann have been a logical person to sound out Mueller on returning to government -- or should we say Deep State -- work? It's telling that Weissmann jumped on board the Mueller train as soon as the Special Counsel was established. Had there been preliminary discussions?

We now know that Weissman was a more integral part of the Russia Hoax/conspiracy than previously suspected -- probably from the very beginning. The question is, just how extensive was his involvement? Did it extend to contact with the Clinton campaign itself? Did it extend beyond the election to strategizing with FBI efforts to ensnare and use George Papadopoulos? Did it extend to reaching out to his mentor Mueller during the early months of the Trump administration, planning for a Special Counsel?

The answers to these questions should be of pressing concern to Congressional investigators.

Mark Wauck is a retired FBI agent who blogs on religion, philosophy, and FISA at meaning in history.

A week ago, August 27th, Bruce Ohr, the demoted former Associate Deputy Attorney General, testified before the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees. Among the newsworthy items that emerged, a few stand out. One of course is that his wife Nellie began working for Glenn Simpson's opposition research outfit, Fusion GPS, back in 2015 -- adding fuel to the speculation that she was involved as an FBI contractor in illegally mining NSA databases for information on GOP presidential candidates. Another item, highlighted by Chuck Ross at The Daily Caller, was that Ohr kept a number of FBI and DoJ colleagues "in the loop" regarding his highly irregular contacts with Christopher Steele, the "former" MI6 spook. Specifically:

Sources familiar with Ohr’s testimony before the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Ohr informed Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page about his interactions with Steele and Simpson. He also informed Justice Department prosecutor Andrew Weissmann about his dossier-related work.

Weissmann is now serving as right-hand man to Robert Mueller at the special counsel’s office.

It seems to me that the question that needs to be asked is: Why Andrew Weissmann? Why was Ohr keeping Weissmann, who was at the time head of DoJ's Criminal Fraud Section, in the loop on what to all appearances was a Counterintelligence investigation? If Ohr kept Weissmann in the loop out of friendship, that still breaks the first rule of conspiratorial operations: need to know. Unless ... Weissmann was contributing or could potentially contribute something of value to the conspiracy.

What Weissmann's contribution to the Russia hoax might have been is suggested by his previous career.

Weissmann is best known as a hard charging prosecutor, but one with a reputation for being willing to take ethical shortcuts to make the big case. This led, in 2005, to the US Supreme Court unanimously overturning the conviction in his biggest case: Arthur Anderson, part of the Enron Scandal. The criticism of Weissmann's "intimidating" "scorched earth" tactics that arose from the case made him a hot potato in the legal world, but fortunately for him he landed on his feet -- as Special Counsel to a friend and former colleague, FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Screen grab YouTube

This was Weissmann's first gig at the FBI, and lasted probably less than a full year while he looked for a more lucrative position. By the end of 2005, Weissmann went into private practice, becoming a partner at Jenner & Block in New York. But in 2011, Weissmann returned to the FBI and his mentor Mueller, serving as General Counsel under Mueller until the end of Mueller's term in September 2013.

He continued at the FBI under James Comey until January 2015, when he returned to DoJ as head of the Criminal Fraud Section. His final career move, to date, was his reunion with Mueller, joining Mueller's Special Counsel team in June 2017.

What was Weissmann doing as General Counsel at the FBI? According to DoJ:

"The General Counsel of the FBI is ultimately responsible for all of the legal affairs of the FBI. ... The General Counsel interacts regularly with all of the elements of the FBI, the Justice Department, the U.S. Intelligence Community, a range of other government agencies, foreign partners...."

You get the drift. During his four years as General Counsel at the FBI, Weissmann would have been interacting on a daily basis with FBI management at the very highest levels, certainly including the Director (Mueller, then Comey) and Deputy Director -- with additional contact with the highest levels in all important Divisions. Beyond that, however, he would have been developing contacts throughout the Intelligence Community and with "foreign partners" -- prominently including the British intelligence agencies. The appeal of having Weissmann "in the loop" of the Russia hoax is obvious -- he would be a trusted contact with the top levels of the FBI and would have a wide range of other useful contacts.

But Weissmann's connections to the FBI would not have been the end of his usefulness. Weissmann was well known to be a Hillary Clinton partisan, and even attended the Clinton election night surprise wake. Just how extensive were Weissmann's contacts with the Clinton campaign? Here the waters are murky. Nevertheless, Weissmann is known to have had contacts with Mary Jacoby, the wife of Glenn Simpson, as well as with Simpson himself.

Aaron Klein has detailed remarkable new information involving contacts of Edward Lieberman with the Russians involved in the famous Trump Tower meeting. Not only on the days surrounding that meeting, but the very day of the meeting. Edward Lieberman is a lawyer and an associate of Madeline Albright, whose expertise involves “multi-billion dollar privatizations of oil and gas assets in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Russia.” He was also the husband of the late Evelyn Lieberman, a Deputy Chief of Staff in the Clinton White House.

Was Bruce Ohr "in the loop" regarding the Trump Tower meeting -- which I regard as a clear attempt to set up Donald Trump Jr. and/or Jared Kushner in a quid-pro-quo arrangement for supposed "dirt" on Hillary Clinton? If Ohr knew of this attempted setup of the Trump campaign, there would seem to be little doubt that Weissmann also knew. Further, since both would have known of the connection of Fusion GPS to the Clinton campaign, was there possibly a more direct connection to the Clinton campaign, through Weissman?

Finally, when it came time to select a Special Counsel, would not Weissmann have been a logical person to sound out Mueller on returning to government -- or should we say Deep State -- work? It's telling that Weissmann jumped on board the Mueller train as soon as the Special Counsel was established. Had there been preliminary discussions?

We now know that Weissman was a more integral part of the Russia Hoax/conspiracy than previously suspected -- probably from the very beginning. The question is, just how extensive was his involvement? Did it extend to contact with the Clinton campaign itself? Did it extend beyond the election to strategizing with FBI efforts to ensnare and use George Papadopoulos? Did it extend to reaching out to his mentor Mueller during the early months of the Trump administration, planning for a Special Counsel?

The answers to these questions should be of pressing concern to Congressional investigators.

Mark Wauck is a retired FBI agent who blogs on religion, philosophy, and FISA at meaning in history.