White House NSC’s senior counterterrorism director, Kash Patel, a former staffer of Devin Nunes, is suing Politico and accusing them of conspiring with Adam Schiff to leak false information about him.
According to Patel, Schiff “acted in concert” with Politico to defame him in what he calls “lying, deceit and unethical conduct.”
Nunes himself is also involved in a lawsuit. Per Wapo, Nunes of California has filed a lawsuit claiming a left-leaning transparency nonprofit conspired with a research firm to damage his reputation.
Kash Patel, the National Security Council’s senior counterterrorism director, is seeking more than $25 million in damages in the suit filed in Virginia. We have reached out to Politico for comment.
The lawsuit also names Natasha Bertrand, a Politico reporter and MSNBC contributor, as well as Politico owner Robert Allbritton. The allegations, which center on what the president was told about the situation in Ukraine, go to the heart of the case for impeachment.
While Politico is the nominal target of the suit, it represents an aggressive attempt by a presidential aide to put Adam Schiff’s handling of the impeachment inquiry itself on trial. Describing the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee as “a demagogue with an ax to grind against the president,” Patel portrays Schiff as running roughshod over rules and interviewing witnesses “to create click-bait headlines and soundbites to feed to his co-conspirators and media sympathizers.”
The suit stems from Bertrand’s Oct. 23 story, headlined “Nunes Protege Fed Ukraine Info to Trump.” Patel previously worked for Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, spearheading the Intel Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, before joining the White House in February.
The Politico piece said Patel “was among those passing negative information about Ukraine to President Donald Trump earlier this year, fueling the president’s belief that Ukraine was brimming with corruption and interfered in the 2016 election on behalf of Democrats.”
Patel was “so involved in the issue,” the story said, that “at one point Trump thought he was in charge of Ukraine policy for the National Security Council.” This was attributed to closed-door House testimony by Fiona Hill,” a former NSC official. What’s more, Politico said, “Patel’s involvement demonstrates that the president had at least some support for the scheme from within the NSC” — the scheme being to pressure Ukraine into investigations that would help Trump politically.
In fact, Patel’s suit says, “at no time” before Oct. 30 “had Kash ever communicated with the president on any matters involving Ukraine. Kash never supplied any Ukraine ‘materials’ to the president.”
Schiff is a major target. The suit, which includes its share of Trumpian language, says the defendants “acted in concert” with the congressman or his aides to further the impeachment probe. The alleged purpose was to “destroy Kash’s reputation” as a lawyer and presidential aide to further “Schiff’s baseless Ukrainian quid pro quo hoax.”
Patel issued a public denial earlier this month, saying a number of media outlets “have falsely reported that…I have communicated with President Trump regarding Ukraine.”
Read more here.