This is a very key story from the AP. Bruce Ohr, a DOJ expert on Russian organized crime who has been relentlessly vilified and attacked by President Trump, had a July 30th, 2016 breakfast with Christopher Steele, then just started his sleuthing on candidate Trump’s relationship with Russia. This week Ohr discussed that meeting with lawmakers in a private interview. From the AP: “Among the things Ohr said he learned from Steele during the breakfast was that an unnamed former Russian intelligence official had said that Russian intelligence believed “they had Trump over a barrel,” according to people familiar with the meeting.”
It’s an open question to me the precise quality of the information Steele was able to develop for what is now known as the “dossier”. He himself has said that many of his longtime sources went to ground soon after he got started when the whole Trump/Russia/Emails story broke into the open. I have little question though that it was a good faith effort to get to the bottom of deeply troubling clues about Trump’s ties to Russia, Russian intelligence and Russian organized crime. As the AP story also notes, the two men “had first met a decade earlier and bonded over a shared interest in international organized crime.”
These are people who have experience, know how intelligence and organized crime works and are dedicated to fighting the latter and defending their respective nation-states. Unfortunately, that makes both of them a threat to President Trump.
We get caught up in the President’s over-the-top attacks on all these players: Steele, Ohr, Strzok, Page, et al. We shouldn’t lose the big picture. They’re targeted because they know things that endanger the President. The entire canvas is one vast obstruction of justice, a lawless President trying to escape the grasp of the law and using his powers as President and his outsized megaphone to evade the law, to become something more than a President.