- As staffer to Rep. Devin Nunes, Patel was the author of the controversial House Intelligence Committee report questioning the conduct of FBI and DOJ officials investigating Russia’s election interference.
A staunch Indian American conservative and a fierce Trump loyalist is now a player in the latest drama that is playing out at the Defense Department following President Trump’s firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday.
Esper was replaced by the controversial National Counterterrorism Center Director Christopher Miller. The new Secretary of Defense appointed as his Chief of Staff Kash Patel, who served with him in the same position at the National Counterterrorism Center.
Patel, who previously worked in Trump’s National Security Council, was among the small group of aides who traveled with the President extensively during the final stretch of the campaign, the Washington Post reported.
“He also is a former prosecutor in the national security division of the Department of Justice and former staff member on the House Intelligence Committee. In that post, he was a top aide to Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election,” the Post said.
As a top staffer for Rep. Nunes on the House Intelligence Committee, Patel was the lead author of a report questioning the conduct of FBI and DOJ officials investigating Russia’s election interference, Politico reported.
Needless to say, Patel is extremely unpopular with Democrats on the Hill, often raising hackles, thanks to his actions in the Russia probe, the Politico says.
According to the Post, he moved to the National Security Council in February 2019, and earlier this year, he traveled to Syria for rare high-level talks aimed at securing the release of two Americans who have been missing for years, including journalist Austin Tice.
Patel was the first U.S. official in over a decade that has met with the Syrian government, The Wall Street Journalreported.
Last year, Patel sued the New York Times, claiming the newspaper falsely accused him of being a White House back channel to Ukraine. Patel is seeking for $44.9 million in damages, in the defamation suit filed in November in state court in Fairfax, Va.
“On October 23, 2019, in an article published online and tweeted to millions, (Adam) Goldman (the reporter) and the Times, directly and by implication, falsely accused Kash Patel of lying, deceit, federal crimes, and illegal, conniving and unethical conduct,” the suit claimed.
According to India Abroad, “Kash Patel graduated from the University of Richmond in 2002 with a B.A. in history and criminal justice. He obtained an International Law Certificate from University College London Faculty of Laws in 2004. Kash earned his Juris Doctor from Pace University School of Law in 2005.”