Indian-American attorney Kashyap ‘Kash’ Pramod Patel, 38, the former Senior Counsel for Counterterrorism at the House Select Committee on Intelligence and key aide to then chairman Rep. David Nunes, when the Republicans were in the majority, has been appointed senior director of Counterterrorism Directorate of the National Security Council housed in the White House.
But the White House has declined to comment and refused to confirm the appointment of Patel, an avowed Trump acolyte, first reported by The Daily Beast, which also reported early last year along with the New York Times — before the Democrats took over the House — that Patel was the primary author of the controversial memo and the key “drafter and pusher of the memo,” released earlier by Nunes, of alleged bias by the Justice Department and the FBI against President Trump and pushing back against and attempting to discredit the FBI’s investigations of Trump’s collusion with Russia.
When the GOP ceded authority to the Democrats following their rout in the 2018 mid-term elections and Rep. Adam Schiff took over the helm of the Intelligence Committee, Patel left Capitol Hill and joined the NSC’s Directorate of International Organizations and Alliances, and according to the Beast, he has now been promoted to head its counterterrorism bureau.
In its report, the Beast said that while “the vast majority of Hill staffers stay studiously out of the news, Patel drew national attention in early 2018, when Nunes oversaw the production and release of the memo on surveillance of Trump campaign advisor Carter Page,” which enraged DOJ and FBI officials, who said that they had no say in its creation and that it unfairly characterized standard intelligence-gathering practices.
But at the time, as the Beast said, “It was a watershed moment for the right’s critics of the (Special Counsel Robert) Mueller probe and of senior DOJ leadership.”
During his time on the Hill working for Nunes, Patel also sparred with Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who at the time was supervising the Russia probe as then Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from the Russia probe.
Fox News at the time reported that in e-mails Patel wrote, Rosenstein had threatened to subpoena the committee’s emails and records, and had issued “direct threats” to Patel, in an effort “to keep these people quiet, to keep the American people from hearing the truth.” But the issue faded when Rosenstein denied under oath that he threatened committee staff.
The Beast said in its report last month that “the alums of the Russia saga have, mostly, moved on. Rosenstein stepped down from the DOJ and returned to private life. Nunes lost his post as chairman when Democrats flipped the House. Mueller, after marathon Congressional testimony, returned to civilian life. And now Patel has moved from countering the Deep State to counterterrorism.”
But at the time Patel was being credited with writing this controversial “Kash Memo,” senior Congressional sources pushed back on the reports in the Daily Beast and the New York Times that he was the primary author of the controversial memo.
Patel, was born and raised in Garden City, New York to parents with Gurajati roots who immigrated from East Africa — who came to the U.S. by way of Canada in 1970 — and is an alumnus of the University of Richmond (Class of 2002), and according to his Facebook page claims that he earned a certificate in international law from the University College London Faculty of Laws and graduated from Pace University’s law school in 2005, and then spent part of his career in the Miami area as a federal public defender in Florida before taking a job at the Justice Department in 2014.