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Kash Patel Among 4 High-profile Trump Officials Subpoenaed by Jan. 6 Investigating Committee

Kash Patel Among 4 High-profile Trump Officials Subpoenaed by Jan. 6 Investigating Committee

  • The former Pentagon official and longtime House Intelligence Committee aide was reportedly in constant contact with the then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on the day of the attack and was involved in discussions with senior Pentagon officials before and during the attack regarding security at the Capitol.

Former Pentagon official and longtime House Intelligence Committee aide Kashyap “Kash” Patel is among four Trump loyalists who were issued subpoenas Sept. 23 by the Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Politico says the subpoenas mark “a turning point in the investigation as lawmakers begin homing in on Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election results.” 

Others who were subpoenaed were Meadows, former top White House adviser Steve Bannon; and longtime Trump social media chief Dan Scavino. The four Trump associates are ordered to produce relevant documents by Oct. 7 and appear for depositions the following week.

Patel was serving as Chief of Staff to Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller during the attack after Trump appointed him to replace Mark T. Esper as the top Pentagon official. In that role, he was responsible for leading the secretary’s mission at the department, including his executive staff and providing counsel to the secretary on all matters concerning the department’s operations.

It has been widely reported that Patel was in constant contact with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on the day of the riots. He was also involved “in discussions among senior Pentagon officials before and during the attack regarding security at the Capitol,” The New York Times reported, citing documents provided by the Defense Department. 

A day after the attack, Patel had issued a statement denying Trump’s reluctance to deploy the National Guard to the Capitol on Jan. 6. Patel said he spoke “multiple times this week about the request for National Guard personnel in D.C. During these conversations, the president conveyed to the acting secretary that he should take any necessary steps to support civilian law enforcement requests in securing the Capitol and federal buildings.”

In the letter issued to Patel, the committee, headed by Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), says that based on documents obtained from the Select Committee and published accounts, “there is substantial reason to believe that you have additional documents and information relevant to understanding the role played by the Department of Defense and the White House in preparing for and responding to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, as well as documents and information relating to your personal involvement in planning for events on January 6 and the peaceful transfer of power.” 

Last December, Axios first reported that CIA Director Haspel “threatened to resign” in early December after she became aware of President Trump’s plan to name Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy.

The committee also referenced Trump’s attempt to appoint Patel as deputy director of the CIA in early December. “it is also alleged that you were considered for other positions during the last two months of the Trump administration, and you may have knowledge of other planning activities relevant to the Committee’s inquiry,” the letter read. 

Last December, Axios reported that CIA Director Haspel “threatened to resign” in early December after she became aware of President Trump’s plan to name Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy. Trump had recently named Patel as the chief of staff to Miller, after firing Defense Secretary Mark Esper, six days after the election. Patel’s appointment was shocking, Axios noted, adding that “Patel had no military experience, and was widely seen as a political mercenary bent on punishing the president’s perceived ‘Deep State’ foes.”

Patel issued a statement later on Sept. 23. “I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the Committee tried to subpoena me through the press and violated long-standing protocol — which I upheld as a congressional staffer — by resorting to compulsory process before seeking my voluntary cooperation,” the statement read, as reported by Politico, The New York Times, and other media outlets. “I will continue to tell the truth to the American people about the events of January 6th.”

The Indian American “who flew largely beneath the radar during the Trump administration,” rose from an obscure Hill staffer to become one of the most powerful players in the national security apparatus.

Patel played “a very large role” in Nunes’ attempt to undermine the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Ignatius says. Patel flew to England in the summer of 2108, where he tried unsuccessfully to meet with Christopher Steele, the author of the Steele dossier that purported to detail links between the Trump campaign and Russia. Patel was a primary author of a 2018 memo, released by Nunes over the objections of the FBI, that accused federal investigators of bias against Trump and his team.

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He has previously been in the crosshairs of officials investigating Trump’s alleged dealings with Ukrainian officials. In October 2019, Patel was accused of running a secret back channel to Trump on Ukraine matters. Trump’s former top Russia adviser, Fiona Hill, told impeachment investigators that she heard Trump thought Patel was his Ukraine director and that he was slipping Ukraine-related “materials” to the president outside of the normal National Security Council (NSC) channels. 

Patel later denied ever discussing Ukraine with the president. “A number of media outlets have falsely reported that, as senior director for counterterrorism on the National Security Council, I have communicated with President Trump regarding Ukraine,” Patel told Axios at the time.” At no time have I ever communicated with the president on any matters involving Ukraine. Any reporting to the contrary, and any testimony provided to Congress, is simply false, and any current or former staff who suggest I have raised or discussed Ukraine matters with President Trump, are similarly misinformed or spreading outright falsehoods.”

Before his Pentagon appointment, Patel served as the deputy assistant to the president and senior director for Counterterrorism (CT) at the National Security Council (NSC). He also served as principal deputy to the Acting Director of National Intelligence, “where he oversaw the operations of all 17 intelligence community agencies and provided the president’s daily briefing,” per his Department of Defense profile.

Before joining the NSC, Patel served as the National Security Advisor and Senior Counsel for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), which he joined following his tenure as a terrorism prosecutor at the Department of Justice (DOJ). He also served as the DOJ Liaison Officer to Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), “working with our nation’s most prestigious counterterrorism units to conduct collaborative global targeting operations against high-value terrorism targets,” his DOD profile says.

Patel began his career as a public defender, trying scores of complex cases ranging from murder to narco-trafficking, to complex financial crimes in jury trials in state and federal courts.

A native of New York, Patel completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Richmond before returning to New York to earn his law degree, along with a Certificate in International Law from University College London Faculty of Laws in the United Kingdom.

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