NEW YORK – Kashyap “Kash” Patel, an Indian American lawyer, is the primary author of the controversial Republican memo critical of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and some Justice Department officials that is roiling the American political landscape, according to media reports.
Patel, 37, drafted the document that asserts that there were improprieties in the FBI probe into alleged connections between President Donald Trump's campaign and the Russian government.
The memo prepared on behalf of the Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee was made public Feb. 2 after Trump cleared its release despite opposition from the FBI and the Democrats.
Patel is on the staff of Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican who is chairman of the committee.
Quoting sources who are "familiar with the memo," the Daily Beast said that Patel "read the highly classified intelligence it's based on (something the Justice Department indicates Nunes has not done), drafted the memo, and then dealt with FBI and Justice Department efforts to keep it from being released to the public."
He formerly worked for the National Security Division of the Justice Department, the Daily Beast reported.
He joined the committee as a senior counter-terrorism counsel last April.
The crux of the Republican memo is the allegation that the FBI relied on investigations of Trump that was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and lawyers linked to Hillary Clinton's campaign when applying to a court for permission to wiretap a Trump adviser, Carter Page, and that the FBI did not disclose this fact to the judge.
The anti-Trump dossier was prepared by Christopher Steele, who is described as former British intelligence employee. It was initially commissioned by a right-wing website that was against Trump, but dropped it later and the Democrats then commissioned it.
The memo also alleged that Steele as well as some FBI staffers were anti-Trump and that the wife of Bruce Ohr, a former associate deputy attorney general, worked for FusionGPS, the company through which Steele worked.
The Democrats, who have prepared a counter memo, have said the Republican document is an attempt to wreck the image of the FBI and derail the Russia investigation.
They maintain that the FBI and the courts did not rely on the controversial dossier to get the wiretap approved and that the FBI and Justice Department officials were being smeared.
Patel had made news in 2016 while working for the Justice Department by not wearing a tie while appearing in a federal court.
During a terrorism trial, Patel appeared informally dressed as he had just landed there from Central Asia, abovethelaw.com, reported. Judge Lynn Hughes admonished him for the way he was dressed and demanded to see his passport.
Patel grew up in New York and graduated from the University of Richmond in 2002. 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, reported the New York Times.