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NAACP LDF, local leaders demand city address racial bias in policing

NAACP LDF, local leaders demand city address racial bias in policing

NAACP LDF, local leaders demand city address racial bias in policing
Photo Credit: Russell Mills
Rev. Al Sharpton was among hundreds of protesters to rally in Tulsa after Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by a Tulsa police officer.

NAACP LDF, local leaders demand city address racial bias in policing

Thursday, a letter signed by nearly fifty community leaders and activists in Tulsa was sent to the mayor and city councilors, demanding the city implement changes to police policies and procedures.

The letter cites statistics contained in the Tulsa Equality Indicators Annual Report 2018, which attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons tells KRMG quantifies the level of racial bias still existent in Tulsa.

[You can hear the full interview HERE or use the audio player below]

“Utilizing the City of Tulsa’s own internal records and documents, (the report) highlighted or showed that African-Americans are two times as likely to be arrested than white residents, and as much as five times as likely to be victims of officers’ use of force than all other groups in Tulsa,” Solomon-Simmons said Friday afternoon.

“This was a report that really solidified and backed up what so many people have already known for decades, through litigation, through reports and studies, that these type of inequalities, these type of racial discriminatory policing, exist here in Tulsa,” he added.

The coalition behind the letter, spearheaded by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, includes civil rights attorneys, religious leaders, elected officials, and even a former Chief of the Tulsa Police Department, Drew Diamond.

It demands that the mayor and city council act within 60 days to implement new policies for TPD, and seeks six specific changes (see below) designed to effect change.

“We would like to see action,” Solomon-Simmons told KRMG. “We don’t need any additional speeches or reports. We know the data, we know the statistics, we know discriminatory policing, we know how it negatively impacts individuals and communities, and we want it to stop. And the people who have the power to stop it is Mayor G.T. Bynum and the city council. We’re asking them to act.”

Asked for a response, Mayor Bynum emailed the following statement to KRMG:

“A lot of people I respect signed this letter. I appreciate the thought that went into it, and will give it the consideration it deserves. Unfortunately, based on legal guidance provided, I can not respond at this time due to the connection between so many of the signatories on the letter and litigation pending against the City of Tulsa.”



Dear Mayor Bynum and Councilor Chairman Patrick:

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. and the undersigned Tulsa civil right attorneys, religious leaders, elected officials, law enforcement officials, and community activists write in response to the recently released Tulsa Equality Indicators Annual Report 2018, which found that in the City of Tulsa’s (City) justice system, Black residents are arrested over twice as often as White residents, and Blacks are five times as likely to be victims of officer use of force than all other racial and ethnic groups.1 These disturbing findings are well-known to residents and City officials, as previous research, litigation, and news reports have documented racial disparities in the practices of the Tulsa Police Department (TPD) for decades.2 Indeed, in the aftermath of the police-involved shooting death of Terence Crutcher, last year, City officials formed and served as members of the Tulsa Commission on Community Policing (the Commission), which released seventy-seven (77) recommendations for improving policing practices in Tulsa.

We are dismayed, however, that there are very few recommendations that will address the City’s well-documented and long history of racially-biased policing, and none that will hold TPD officers accountable if they fail to comply with the proposed policies, trainings and data collection outlined in the Findings and Recommendations of the Tulsa Commission on Community Policing report.3 Therefore, we request that you: 1) immediately adopt the policy recommendations outlined below; and 2) within the next sixty (60) days, hold public hearings to investigate the recent findings in the Tulsa Equality Indicators report and solicit more information and recommendations from the public about TPD’s use-of-force and arrest practices.

The Tulsa Commission wisely considered recommendations from the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Members of former President Obama’s Task Force held listening sessions in cities across the country to collect information from police executives, civil rights advocates, activists and researchers about promising practices for building trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.4 The Task Force noted that in 2015, the public’s confidence in law enforcement was declining in communities of color.5 This lack of trust was due in part to highly-publicized police killings of unarmed men, women and children of color and the lack of accountability for these killings both criminally and administratively.6 The Task Force’s recommendations and action items provide a road map of steps that law enforcement agencies should take to fulfill the six pillars detailed in the report: building trust and legitimacy; policy and oversight; technology and social media; community policing and crime reduction; training and education; and officer wellness and safety.

Recognizing that for valid reasons, Black residents of the City also lack confidence in law enforcement, Tulsa Commission members appropriately adopted the pillars and several recommendations from the Task Force report. However, according to the Tulsa Commission report’s appendix,7 commissioners considered but did not approve any of the measurable actions steps that could result in greater police accountability, including in the areas of use of force and arrests. So, following the instruction of the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass who stated “[p]ower concedes nothing without a demand…[i]t never did, and it never will,”8 we demand City officials immediately adopt and carry out promptly the following policies and action items:

1. Revise TPD policies and training to emphasize de-escalation and alternatives to arrests in TPD’s policies and training where appropriate.9 TPD’s use-of-force policy does not require officers to use de-escalation tactics to avoid the use of force. The Tulsa Commission report states that the TPD should continue scenario-based training, including instruction on de-escalation, but the department does not appear to have a de-escalation policy. Additionally, while the Tulsa Commission report recommends implementing “least harm” resolutions, such as warnings and citations, in lieu of arrest for minor infractions, Commissioners did not specify what type of minor infractions are eligible for these resolutions. This information should be captured in a departmental policy.

2. Require external and independent investigations of police use-of-force incidents resulting in death or injury and in-custody deaths.10 On May 2, 2018, the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police hosted a Tulsa District Attorney debate that featured all four of the major district attorney candidates. One of the questions posed to all of the candidates was whether they believe TPD should investigate their own alleged misconduct.11 Regardless of what the eventual new district attorney decides, if the City truly values improving community trust and faith in TPD, then the City should follow the lead of the Sand Springs, Oklahoma Police Department by adopting a policy and practice of routinely referring certain incidents, such as the shooting or attempted shooting of a person by a law enforcement officer, to an independent agency for investigation. Sand Springs has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to conduct investigations of certain incidents.12

3. Create use-of-force policies that state clearly what information will be released relating to incidents.13

4. Establish a Serious Incident Review Board comprising of sworn staff and community members who will review cases involving officer-involved shootings and other serious incidents that have the potential to damage community trust or confidence in the agency.14 The Board should identify and recommend any administra-tive, supervisory, training, tactical, or policy issues that need to be addressed. According to the TPD’s use-of-force policy, a Deadly Force Review Board, comprising only TPD officers, reviews deadly force incidents referred to it by the police chief.15 TPD should diversify the composition of the Board and require it to review all serious incidents.

5. Partner with the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training to contribute to its National Decertification Index that collects information about officers who have had their licenses or certifications revoked.16 This will allow law enforcement agencies to identify problem officers before they are hired. It appears that the Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training has submitted the names of decertified officers to the National Decertification Index in the past.17 But, it is unclear whether TPD notifies this agency of its decertified officers. We urge TPD to do so.

6. Retain a nationally recognized police department implicit bias trainer with community input. While pleased that the City finally decided to incorporate mandatory implicit bias training for TPD officers and City executives, we were disappointed to learn that the City did not hire a national expert with a proven track record of successfully training police departments regarding implicit bias. This act has actually created more distrust because it appears the City is just engaging in a “check the box” activity, and not seriously attempting to change the racially discriminatory practices and culture of TPD. We have relationships with national experts, including researchers, who have worked with law enforcement agencies and could partner with the city’s current consultant. We are more than willing to share those names with City officials.

Finally, we demand the City Council to hold public hearings to investigate the Tulsa Equality Indicators report findings of racial disparities in TPD’s arrest and use-of-force practices within the next sixty (60) days. It is simply unacceptable to acknowledge racial inequities in City reports and do little to nothing to address them. A hearing will allow members of the public to share their views about these findings and offer recommendations for change.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss further the above policy reform recommendations in a meeting. Please feel free to contact Tulsa attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons at 918-587-3161, or Monique Dixon, Deputy Director of Policy and Senior Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, at 202-682-1300 to schedule a mutually convenient time to meet.

Sincerely yours,

Sherrilyn A. Ifill* 

NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc.

*Admitted to the Bars of New York and Maryland

Damario Solomon-Simmons, Attorney, Of Counsel

President & Director Counsel Riggs, Abney, Neal, Orbinson, Turpen, & Lewis

Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, President Drew Diamond, Former Chief of Police

Terence Crutcher Foundation Tulsa Police Department

Councilwoman Vanessa Hall-Harper Rep. Regina Goodwin

City of Tulsa, District One Oklahoma State Representative

Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director David Blatt, Ph.D., Executive Director

Oklahoma ACUL Oklahoma Policy Institute

Sen. Kevin Matthews Rep. Monroe Nichols

Oklahoma State Senate Oklahoma State Representative

Dr. Ray Owens, Senior Pastor Rev. M.C. Potter, Senior Pastor

Metropolitan Baptist Church Antioch Baptist Church

Danny Williams, Former US Attorney Chief Egunwale Amusan

U.S. District Court, Northern District African Ancestral Society

of Oklahoma

Richard Baxter, President Monya Brown

Racism Stinks Community Activist

Thomas Boxley, Executive Director Darryl Bright, President

The Institute for Developing C.U.B.E.S., Inc.


Layla Caldwell, Pastor Mrs. Leanna Crutcher

United Coalition of Ministers Mother of Terence Crutcher

Rev. Joey Crutcher, Sr., Anthony Douglas, State President

Father of Terence Crutcher Oklahoma State NAACP

Rev. Jamaal Dyer Hailey Ferguson

Community Activist Community Activist

Nehemiah Frank Caleb Gayle

Editor-In-Chief, Black Wall Street Times Community Activist

James (Jim) Goodwin Pastor Scott Gordon

Oklahoma Eagle Newspaper Senior Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church

Dr. Rodney Goss, Senior Pastor Angela Graham, Candidate

Morning Star Baptist Church Oklahoma House District 66

Tracy Love, President Nate Morris

Love & Associates Greater Tulsa Alumnus, Teach of America

David Riggs, Senior Partner Greg Robinson

Riggs, Abney, Neal, Orbinson, Turpen, Community Activist

& Lewis

Shea Seals Pastors Terry & Barbara Shannon

Tulsa Basketball Legend New Heights Christian Center

Sarah Smith-Moore Robin Steinberg, Executive Director

Aware Tulsa Still She Rises, LLC

Bruce Suttle Robin Taylor

Community Activist Community Activist

Etan Thomas, NBA Star Dr. Robert Turner, Senior Pastor

Author and Native Tulsan Vernon AME Church

Rhea Vaugh-Dobbin Pastor Weldon Tisdale, Senior Pastor

Community Activist Friendship Missionary Baptist Church

Charles Wilkes, Candidate Bill White

Tulsa City Council District 3 Community Activist

Kandy White Kristi Williams

Community Activist Community Activist

Bobby Woodard, Pharm. D Dr. Runako Whittaker

Westview Medical Clinic Westview Pediatric Care

Rev. Gerald Davis

The United League of Social Justice-Tulsa

cc: Tulsa City Councilors



1 City of Tulsa, et al, Tulsa Equality Indicators, Annual Report 2018, 24-26 (Apr. 4, 2018), https://www.tulsaei.org/blog/2018/04/tulsa-releases-first-annual-equality-indicators-report/.

2 See, Ziva Branstetter, Groups renew request for city probe of police, Tulsa World, May 5, 2001 (describing a photo two white Tulsa police officers holding a handcuffed arrestee around the neck with the words “say cheese” under the photo), http://www.tulsaworld.com/archives/groups-renew-request-for-city-probe-of-police/article_10cac80e-7a06-5506-bd7b-00c825bd7e90.html; See also, Ian Ayres, Supplemental Report on Racial Disparities of the Tulsa Police Dep’t, Tr. Doc. 318, Johnson v. City of Tulsa, Civil No. 94-CV-00039-TCK-FHM (N.D. OK July 2, 2001) (finding racial disparities in arrests and use-of-force by Tulsa police officers).

3 City of Tulsa, Findings and Recommendations of the Tulsa Commission on Community Policing, Executive Summary, Mar. 10, 2017, https://www.cityoftulsa.org/media/3298/community-policing-commission-executive-summary.pdf.

4 President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, U.S. Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, May 2015, https://ric-zai-inc.com/Publications/cops-p311-pub.pdf. (Hereinafter President’s Task Force Report).

5 Id. at 9.

6Jeffrey Jones, In U.S., Confidence in Police Lowest in 22 Years, GALLUP, June 19, 2015, http://news.gallup.com/poll/183704/confidence-police-lowest-years.aspx.

7 See, Tulsa Commission on Community Policing, Appendix, https://www.cityoftulsa.org/media/3299/community-policing-commission-appendix.pdf.

8 On August 3, 1857, Frederick Douglass delivered a “West India Emancipation” speech at Canandaigua, New York, on the twenty-third anniversary of the event. Most of the address was a history of British efforts toward emancipation, as well as a reminder of the crucial role of the West Indian slaves in that own freedom struggle. See, http://www.blackpast.org/1857-frederick-douglass-if-there-no-struggle-there-no-progress

9 President’s Task Force Report, supra note 4, at 20.

10 Id. at 21.

11 See, Dylan Goforth, Tulsa County DA debate turns to questions over last summer’s Betty Shelby trial, The Frontier, May 2, 2018, https://www.readfrontier.org/stories/tulsa-county-da-debate-turns-to-questions-over-last-summers-betty-shelby-trial/.

12 Sand Springs Police Department, Memorandum of Understanding between Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and Sand Springs Police Department, Oct. 10, 2016.

13 President’s Task Force Report, supra note 4, at 22.

14 Id.

15Tulsa Police Department, Use of Force Procedure 31-101A, Aug. 28, 2014, https://www.tulsapolice.org/media/161292/public_policy_manual121217.pdf.

16 President’s Task Force Report, supra note 4, at 29.

17 Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, Meeting Agenda, 3, Jan. 29, 2014 (stating “names of individuals whose certification has been suspended or voluntarily surrendered since the last meeting…will be entered into the National Decertification Database), https://www.ok.gov/cleet/documents/CouncilAgenda_29Jan2014.pdf.

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'Putin's media and surrogates called Boris Nemtsov an 'enemy of the people,'' said Michael McFaul, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia under President Obama, and a frequent critic of President Trump. + Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.  While the four previous legislative measures have bipartisan support, the final piece of this 'Russia' week in the U.S. House might create a bit of a tussle on the floor of the House, as Democrats move to put GOP lawmakers on the record about whether they want to make any report from the Special Counsel public.  Under the Special Counsel law, there is no guarantee that the Mueller report will ever see the light of day - the Special Counsel submits a report to the U.S. Attorney General - in this case, William Barr - who is then authorized to summarize that to Congress.  That's different than back during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, when independent counsel Ken Starr was able to send Congress volumes and volumes of evidence - knowing that all of it would be made public. In testimony before the Senate earlier this year, Barr did not expressly commit to releasing any report, saying 'my goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law. I can assure you that, where judgments are to be made by me, I will make those judgments based solely on the law and will let no personal, political, or other improper interests influence my decision.
  • As President Donald Trump sent Congress on Monday a $4.7 trillion budget proposal for 2020, the estimates of his own budget experts predict that this spending plan will result in four straight years of deficits exceeding $1 trillion, with no budget surplus until the mid-2030's. After a deficit of $779 billion in Fiscal Year 2018, the President's new budget plan forecasts four more years of even higher levels of red ink. 2019 - $1.092 trillion 2020 - $1.101 trillion 2021 - $1.068 trillion 2022 - $1.049 trillion The White House budget document shows the deficit dropping to an estimated $909 billion in 2023. The higher deficit figures come even as the White House projected a growing amount of revenues coming in for Uncle Sam as a result of the 2017 GOP tax cut plan, as officials said the problem is not taxes, but the level of government spending. 'We don't think the tax cuts are going to lead to anything other than economic growth over the next ten years,' a senior White House official told reporters on Monday morning. After revenues were basically flat from 2017 to 2018, the official predicted the feds would see growth of 6 percent in money coming into the Treasury in 2020, as compared to 2019. Part of the President’s 2020 budget plan would make the GOP tax cut permanent for individuals - the business part of that tax package was permanent, but the income tax cuts and other items impacting individual taxpayers end in 2025. Still, for the President - and his chief aides - the big problem is spending, not tax revenues, as the White House said the 2020 budget was a ‘fiscally responsible and pro-American budget.’ While GOP supporters of the President like Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) touted today’s budget plan - the declaration that the Trump budget will result in a balanced budget won’t be happening anytime soon. In the next ten years, the 2020 Trump budget estimates that another $7.2 trillion would be added in deficits, pushing the national debt towards the $30 trillion mark. “Under reasonable economic assumptions, we find it would add about $10.5 trillion to the national debt over 10 years,” said the watchdog group, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “It's quite an achievement for the President's budget to have fantastical economic assumptions, massive & unprecedented cuts to domestic discretionary spending, and *still* manage to end up with trillion dollar deficits for the next four years,” tweeted Shaki Akabas, an economic expert at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.
  • With over $2 trillion added to the federal debt since he took office just over two years ago, President Donald Trump will deliver a spending plan to the Congress on Monday which is certain to spur a sharp debate with Democrats over proposed cuts in domestic spending programs, but won't come close to producing a balanced budget for more than a decade. 'It is time for Congress to join the president in his commitment to cutting spending, reducing bloated deficits, and getting our national debt under control. America’s future generations are depending on them,' said Russ Vought, the acting chief of the White House budget office. But, so far, President Trump's time in office has seen the growth in the deficit accelerate, from $584 billion in President Obama's last full year in office in 2016, to $779 billion in 2018. As of January, the deficit in 2019 was running 77 percent higher than a year ago, as even White House budget estimates have forecast a yearly deficit over $1 trillion in coming years. Here's some of what to look for in Monday's budget submission, which is titled, 'A Budget for a Better America.' 1. Domestic spending cuts, back door increase for defense. With no deal as yet to avoid budget caps from a 2011 deficit law, spending in 2020 would be limited on defense to $576 billion, and $542 billion for domestic programs. But the President wants much more for the military, so the Trump Administration will reportedly propose spending a massive $174 billion for the 'Overseas Contingency Operations' fund - an increase of $106 billion - for a total military budget of $750 billion. Budget watchdog groups say the idea is a big, fat budgetary gimmick, nothing but a slush fund for the Pentagon. 2. Trump to request $8.6 billion for the border wall. With no confirmed details yet on how the President will shift around some $6.6 billion in the Pentagon budget to fund construction of his border wall, Mr. Trump will reportedly ask Congress to approve $8.6 billion for the wall in 2020. Democrats had a simple reaction on Sunday. 'No,' said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI). 'No,' said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). 'Dead on arrival,' said Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL). Even after a 35 day partial government shutdown earlier this year, the President received $1.375 billion for barriers - but not a wall, and there seems to be little chance that dynamic will change for Democrats in the 2020 budget debate. 'Congress refused to fund his wall,' Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted on Sunday. 'The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again.' 3. Goal for a balanced budget would be 2035. Even if President Trump serves two terms in office, his own White House doesn't forecast anything close to a balanced budget. The last official budget estimates from the White House in July of 2018 - which will be updated with this new budget proposal - predicted the deficit would peak over $1 trillion for three years, and then finally get below $500 billion by 2027, adding almost $8 trillion in deficts along the way. More conservative Republicans in the House aren't worried by those details, as they say the President has shown 'fiscally conservative leadership,' even though the debt has already increased by more than $2 trillion during his two plus years in office. 4. Not all the details, and already behind schedule. President Trump was supposed to have sent this budget to Congress by the first Monday in February - but today will only bring the basic highlights, not all the nitty gritty details of the proposal. Part of the reason is that the 35 day partial government shutdown delayed a lot of work in government agencies. All of the spending work is supposed to be done by Congress each year by September 30 - but that's only happened four times since the budget process was reformed in 1974. Congress has six and a half months until the deadline - it's hard to see how lawmakers avoid more stop gap funding plans - and maybe another shutdown as well. 5. A new dynamic with divided control of Congress. In the first two years of the Trump Presidency, Republicans in the House and Senate were in charge - but now, Democrats will have first crack at the President's budget, and they are certain to take a much different road. In a sense, that's a good thing for Mr. Trump, giving him the chance to battle it out with Democrats more clearly on budget priorities. But it also amplifies the chance for a government shutdown on October 1. Speaker Pelosi likes to say that a budget is a 'statement of values.' After the Trump budget gets delivered to Congress, the next move will be up to Democrats in the House, to forge their on budget outline for 2020. There are political pitfalls ahead for both sides.
  • The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee took the unusual step Friday of publicly releasing a 268 page interview transcript with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, confirming reports that Ohr forwarded material to the FBI from his wife, and that former British Intelligence agent Christopher Steele warned during the 2016 campaign that Russian intelligence believed they had President Donald Trump 'over a barrel.'  'He (Steele) told me that the former head of - or he had information that the former head of the Russian foreign intelligence service had said that they had Trump over a barrel,' said Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official who funneled information from Steele to FBI investigators. 'My interpretation is that that meant that, if true, the Russian Government had some kind of compromising material on Donald Trump,' Ohr told lawmakers in the August 28, 2018 deposition, as he defended the quality of information Steele had provided the U.S. Government in the past. 'Chris Steele has, for a long time, been very concerned about Russian crime and corruption and what he sees as Russian malign acts around the world, in the U.S., U.K., and elsewhere,' Ohr told Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). 'And if he had information that he believed showed that the Russian Government was acting in a hostile way to the United States, he wanted to get that information to me.' In the deposition, Ohr acknowledged that he forwarded information not only from Steele to the FBI - but also from his wife, Nellie Ohr, who worked at Fusion GPS, the company which had hired Steele to do intelligence work on President Trump from Europe. Ohr said he realized during 2016 that his wife was researching 'some of the same people that I had heard about from Chris Steele,' and that she provided her husband with a thumb drive of information, which he then gave to FBI investigators.  Republicans found the chain of events described by Ohr to be a bit difficult to swallow. 'I'm trying to envision this cold start to a conversation with 'Here, honey, here's a thumb drive,'' said Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) at one point. Ohr, an expert in Russian organized crime, said he never looked at any of the information. 'I didn't want to plug it into my machine at work,' Ohr testified. 'I just gave it to the FBI.' The transcript of the deposition was released by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) on Friday; Collins said he took the unilateral action because he was frustrated that it was taking so long for the Trump Justice Department to make the transcript public. 'After many months, and little progress, our patience grows thin,' Collins said in a speech on the House floor on Friday morning. 'I intend to make other transcripts public soon,' Collins said, referring to interviews done with a variety of Justice Department and FBI figures when Republicans were in charge of the House in 2018. Collins said the transcripts were being held back because of questions over redactions, as he accused the Trump Justice Department of slow walking requests to make the testimony public. In 2018, House Republicans conducted a series of private interviews with different figures involved in the Russia investigation - not focusing on possible wrongdoing involving the Trump campaign - but instead looking at Justice Department and FBI officials, and how they came to start and conduct the initial investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.  Other than a two day closed door interview with former FBI Director James Comey - who requested the release of his closed door testimony - none of the other private transcripts had been released publicly until Collins did so on Friday. While Ohr's testimony was in private, some highlights were immediately leaked to a series of news organizations back in August of 2018. 'AP sources: Lawyer was told Russia had 'Trump over a barrel,'' the Associated Press reported. 'DOJ official told Russia had Trump 'over a barrel,'' was the CNN headline at the time. The GOP inquiries for Ohr repeatedly sought to raise questions about a broader conspiracy of actions by officials at the Justice Department, as Republicans tried to paint a picture of a group of government officials doing everything they could to investigate Mr. Trump and his allies. Republicans also found it hard to believe that Ohr's wife got a job from Fusion GPS without his involvement. 'I don't remember who made the contact, whether she spoke with Glenn Simpson directly or whether there was another party or someone else involved. I just know it wasn't me,' Ohr said of his wife's job. “So when she came home and said, 'Honey, I got a job with Glenn Simpson,' what did you say?” asked Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) at one point. In the interview, Ohr was asked about an email from Steele in which Steele wanted to talk about 'our favorite business tycoon’ - which GOP lawmakers seemed to believe was a certain U.S. candidate. But Ohr repeatedly said that description wasn't a reference to President Trump, but rather to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who was owed money by Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Republicans again and again pressed Ohr about how he handled information from Steele, and why he did not inform his bosses that he was handing over that material to the FBI. 'I have received information from different people about organized crime over the years, and in each case I've provided it to the FBI,' Ohr explained. Ohr said he did not have a personal relationship with Glenn Simpson, who had hired Christopher Steele for Fusion GPS, but that they had met several times through the years. Ohr defended his contacts with Steele, even after the FBI had terminated their relationship with the former British agent. “When I got a call from Chris Steele and he provided information, if it seemed like it was significant, I would provide it to the FBI,” Ohr said.