White House official Kash Patel, a senior counterterrorism official on the National Security Council (NSC), filed a defamation lawsuit Monday alleging that House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) “acted in concert” with Politico to leak fake information from the impeachment inquiry as a “scheme” to push forward the case against President Trump.
Kash Patel is officially naming Adam Schiff as a leaker.
Patel was a staffer to top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), who then moved to the White House National Security Council in order to advise the president.
The central claim of the case is that Politico worked with Schiff and his staff to put out fake stories about him in an article written by Bertrand on October 23rd titled “Nunes Protege Fed Ukraine Info to Trump.”
Patel has denied that he ever discussed Ukraine with President Trump.
“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 earlier. “At no time have I ever communicated with the president on any matters involving Ukraine.
The lawsuit from Patel states:
“Defendants intentionally employed a scheme or artifice to defame Kash with the intent to undermine the President’s confidence in Kash and to further Schiff’s impeachment inquisition. Defendants acted in concert with Schiff to accomplish an unlawful purpose through unlawful means, without regard for Kash’s rights and interests.”
It continues in a damning note:
“Defendants abandoned all journalistic integrity and violated their own code of ethics in order to further the conspiracy with Schiff. Defendants did not seek truth; report truth; minimize harm; act independently; and they most certainly were not transparent.”
Patel says that Bertrand wrote two fake stories for Politico saying that the NSC was feeding Trump false information about Ukraine.
So far, Politico has refused to “retract or clarify” the the stories against the White House official.
The Defamation lawsuit targeted at Politico points out:
“Between October 14, 2019 and November 8, 2019, Politico and Bertrand colluded, collaborated and conspired with Schiff to defame Kash. Schiff, or members of his staff or aides acting at his direction, leaked to Bertrand the closed-door testimony that [former former senior advisor and European and Russian affairs specialist who served on the NSC Fiona] Hill and [NSC Director of European Affairs Lt. Col. Alexander] Vindman gave in the subfloor of the Capitol Visitor Center. The leaks occurred in real-time. Schiff leaked the testimony to Bertrand because Schiff knew that it would be a violation of House Rules and Committee Rules for Schiff to publish the substance of the testimony himself.”
“The joint collaborative purpose of the leaks was to publish Hill and Vindman’s false and defamatory statements, including Hill and Vindman’s egregious personal attacks on Kash, so as to further Schiff and Politico’s interests in harming the President and advancing the impeachment inquisition. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Bertrand secretly communicated with Schiff or his staff via encrypted email, including proton-mail, and messaging services, such as Signal.”
Patel wants almost $25,000,000 or more for “presumed damages and actual damages, including, but not limited to, insult, pain, embarrassment, humiliation, mental suffering, injury to his reputation, special damages, costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses.”
Patel is seeking a trial by jury.