The full U.S. intelligence community report on COVID-19 origins “needs to be declassified and put out for the American people to read, and not just the report, but the underlying intelligence cables and information that was used,” says Kash Patel.
Kash Patel and Jan Jekielek sit down to discuss the recent intelligence community assessment and how court battles on vaccine mandates might play out.
Kash Patel: Hey, everybody, welcome back to Kash’s Corner.
Jan Jekielek: So, Kash, I was looking at this recent Trafalgar poll then by Convention of States, basically talking about how Americans think about vaccine mandates.
Certainly Independents and Republicans are very significantly against vaccine mandates and it’s a significant number, over 50 percent overall, but also that it sets a kind of a dangerous precedent, even for future presidents, whatever political orientation they may have.
Mr.Patel: I kind of agree. Overall, back when I was the chief of staff for the Department of Defense, we were charged with operation Warp Speed, which is you recall was literally running the logistical apparatus to get and distribute the vaccine out to America because no other component of the U.S. government could do it and you couldn’t leave it to private industry.
Mr. Jekielek: But wait. Wasn’t Warp Speed actually the creation of the vaccine or I’m mixing?
Mr. Patel: It’s both, right? Yeah. It was the creation of the vaccine and private industry. And then, we at the Defense Department took Warp Speed and used our logistical apparatus to basically be the node that delivers it to every state that wanted it, right?
And again, back then, we weren’t forcing it on states and people, we were recommending people take it. And I still to this day, like President Trump’s say, I recommend you should get the vaccine, but I agree that it shouldn’t be mandated because we’re walking on a dangerous line.
This poll is significant because it shows that most people don’t want this thing mandated on them. I think the folks that want it mandated would have a different argument if the overwhelming majority of Americans said, “That’s fine, we want it mandated for everybody.” But that’s clearly not the case.
And COVID has become one of the hottest political footballs since the virus broke and it remains so to this day. I would hope that the politicians would start listening to some of these polls because it represents their constituencies and what the people actually want, putting aside whether or not it’s legal to mandate this thing in the first place.
But it’s an interesting poll and my guess is, you’re probably going to only see more and more people against a vaccine mandate. Because they don’t like the way it infringes on their privacy, their personal health rights, sticking something into their arm and saying, “You have to get this. If you live in America.”
It’s a very intrusive measure to force someone to be vaccinated, especially if they don’t want to. And that’s, I think, what this poll speaks to.
Mr. Jekeilek: Mandates right now are, there’s a federal mandate for federal workers. And now there’s this new mandate, which is going to be for companies over a hundred people, from what I understand. Well, why don’t we start here? What are the rules right now? Who gets exempted? Who can be exempted, who actually has to?
Mr. Patel: Yeah, let’s start with the federal mandate. Okay. The federal mandate, President Biden is instituting through this group called this act from 1970 called OSHA, which relates to health and sciences. And he’s saying based upon that act, he can have the Secretary of Labor implement the vaccine mandate because it is under the act as prescribed.
I don’t necessarily agree with it. But it’s saying it’s because it meets a specific health, safety and precaution, and that the bar is so high that the disease is so rampant that they’re saying they can use this act, this OSHA act, to implement it in the workforce.
Now, putting aside the private companies that may or may not fall under this act, what I’m most confused about is the federal mandate against federal employees. Because President Biden came on TV last week and said, he’s mandating the vaccine for all federal employees. But then he said, “Except postal workers.”
And as a guy who used to be a lawyer and sort of practiced some of these delicate situations, I was confused. I didn’t know why the U.S. Postal Service, 800,000 [and] some workers were exempt. Why wasn’t the Department of Education exempt? What about the employees of the Department of Agriculture? How about the Defense Department? How about the DOJ? How about the FBI?
Name any other federal agency or department and why he picked the Postal Service is something I’m still confused about. Also, many individuals are in the postal stream, UPS, FedEx, and the Postal Service. So I don’t understand, is it gonna apply to those folks too, because they use the postal service to deliver mail and parcels? What about people at the airports who load cargo planes for FedEx, the Postal Service and for DHS and the like?
Mr. Jekielek: So, Congress is actually exempt, right? That was very interesting.
Mr. Patel: I don’t think that should surprise you, Congress legislates a lot of rules and then exempt themselves out of a lot of those same rules. It’s probably another reason why Congress’s approval ratings are so low.
I mean, you’ve heard it time and time again, one set of rules for everybody else and another set of rules for us who preside over everybody. And I don’t think this is gonna go over well with the public if they’re saying our elected officials, who we send to Congress, who we send to Washington to represent our views and interest and vote for us are now exempt from the very policy we’re fighting—the mandate.
Mr. Jekielek: So, Kash, what about this new private sector set of rules?
Mr. Patel: Yeah. I’m not an expert in some of these constitutional arguments, but I was a former federal public defender and federal prosecutor, so dealing with due process and constitutional issues was a daily occurrence for me.
And applying restrictions on certain classes of people had to meet a very high constitutional bar to survive a due process challenge, which is where these private mandates are gonna go. They’re gonna go to federal court and they’re gonna be tested under the due process rights of the citizens bringing those cases.
Now, in order to bring it, you have to have this thing called standing, which means a certain individual who’s bringing the case, has to be someone who was stuck in this class of people, in this case, those that were mandated to take the vaccine, ie, the LA police officers that are bringing their case out in California, right?
But there’s going to be a litany of litigation in this field and it’s going to bubble up quickly through the federal courts and as you know Jan, but some of our viewers might know, just because a court rules in California, federal court, a different court may rule in Ohio and a separate federal court will rule in New York. Those three don’t govern the entire nation.
They have to go up to the Supreme Court to get a unified ruling that says the mandate is a. constitutional or b. unconstitutional. It’s a binary decision. So, I think it will be handled in an accelerated manner. And you’ll probably have a decision early next year on it at the earliest, I think, but that’s where it’s going.
It’s going to face a lot of legal challenges. I know people have called me and said, “How do I challenge this mandate?” So, I’m helping them where I can, but it’s not going away.
Mr. Jekielek: What is the private mandate exactly? I mean, we’ve heard like a hundred plus people in a private enterprise are required or the company is going to get fined.
Mr. Patel: Yeah. I think there’s a couple of layers to it because states and local municipalities layering their own mandates on their own citizens within their states and municipalities.
Then president Biden issued an overarching mandate that said if you have a hundred or more employees in your company based on OSHA, like we talked about earlier, we, I, the President of the United States can mandate this through the Department of Labor and the Labor Secretary.
Because, what your hundred plus employees do infringes upon so much commerce that’s in the act that it has such a national nexus that we need to make sure that those individuals who are a part of that process are vaccinated. That’s what they’re saying; they, Joe Biden, from a federal perspective.
So, it gets even more complicated because you have California, New York and New York City issuing their own mandates.
Monday just this past week, New York City’s own mandate applications went into forcing folks on the NYPD to become vaccinated. I don’t know that a large portion of the NYPD having a lot of folks that you used to work with still serving on it are going to abide by that mandate.
They have now just become a new class of individuals who can challenge that mandate. And I think you’re gonna see a whole host of challenges across the country, challenging the state law, challenging local municipality law, like in New York City.
And ultimately, it always becomes a federal issue whether or not Joe Biden issued his own mandate because it’s a due process claim. So, due process is something that can be arbitrated by the federal courts and has to be in order for it to have a binding decision on its citizens.
Mr. Jekielek: But these things are gonna be in place really, really soon. And you’re talking about decisions being made, many, or some months out. So, how does that work? Does that mean that the mandates will be delayed while the courts figure this out?
Mr. Patel: Well, great question. If you go back in talk and recall what happened during the construction of the wall, there were immigration mandates and certain sets of groups had to stay south of the border. Certain people couldn’t enter the country until a decision was made.
What will likely happen is this thing called an injunction. So the parties, in this case, the aggrieved parties, those that say, “I do not believe this mandate to have me vaccinated,” is constitutional. And the Department of Justice who defends these cases in federal court will go into court and the aggrieved party will seek an injunction and say, “For now while the case is litigated, hold it off.”
That’s the legal term that we use as a stay or an injunction where the federal judge comes in and says, “While this case is being heard by me, this mandate is on hold. So, you guys carry about your daily lives as if it weren’t in effect until we decide the matter.”
That’s likely the path that we’ll take so that people can continue living the way they were—pre-mandate. So, I suspect that’s what will happen. What we’ll see in the coming week or two is people seeking injunctions in federal court to hit pause while the litigation goes.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, an injunction, let’s say somewhere in California or somewhere else actually could be a nationwide injunction. That’s a really fascinating aspect.
Mr. Patel: Yes. If it’s in federal court. We always used to say during my time as a federal public defender or national security prosecutor, who’s more powerful than a federal judge? And we’d like half joking say, but also not half joking because a federal judge can overturn a presidential action, and that’s binding throughout the country.
When there was a group of individuals, states attorney generals that came together to challenge President Trump’s immigration law and border activities, what a federal judge in Texas did was issue a nationwide injunction to allow the Trump administration to carry out its policies while the cases went through, not just his court, but out in California, out of New York and ultimately to the Supreme Court.
So, you may see something like that, and that federal judge’s injunction can be binding across the country.
Mr. Jekielek: That’s a fascinating aspect of the U.S. judicial system.
Mr. Patel: It’s wild. I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, but I think if the court process were able to move faster, which it just can’t, then you might not have a need for an injunction. I’ve never seen the court process be able to keep up with the issues of the day at the speed at which the public would like to see them kept up.
Mr. Jekielek: So, there’s a lot of concern, of course, among civil liberties groups and certainly religious groups about these mandates. I guess one big question is what kind of exemptions can be found in this sort of a situation?
Mr. Patel: Well, that’s what these individual groups are gonna argue for in court. It’s not one generic exemption that applies to police officers or firefighters or teachers or religious groups.
If you believe in this religion or this sector, or this philosophy, each group is going to have to go to court and say, “We have been infringed. Our constitutional rights have been violated based upon our beliefs, based upon our work or professional career: cop, FD, firefighter, or the like.”
They’re all gonna say the same thing ultimately, saying this is a violation of our due process rights, federally. And that’s what they’re going to allege is violated.
And the government’s gonna come back and say, “Well, we’ve tailored the law narrowly enough to say, because there’s such an overriding,” and this is totally simplifying it, “overriding national security health concern. We, the government and the president have a right to issue these mandates against these groups.”
The judge is going to have to decide the constitutionality of that. And as we said earlier, whether it’s the police officers or firefighters or teachers or religious groups, all of those are gonna have to work its way through the federal courts on parallel tracks to get to the appellate court.
And ultimately the Supreme Court is gonna have to decide nationally whether this mandate is binding on any one group, none of them at all, or some of them.
Only the Supreme Court can actually decide that because President Biden’s mandate isn’t a… This is one of the biggest arguments against President Biden’s mandate is that it should be a matter addressed by Congress. That is Congress has to pass a law to mandate this type of mandate against citizens. A president does not have the ability to do that. That’s what many in Congress are saying.
So, that will be another challenge to President Biden’s executive order. And we’ve seen during every presidency, Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden, executive orders from the White House are challenged routinely by groups that feel their constitutional rights have been violated. So, this one’s no different, it’s just on a much bigger scale.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, then there’s of course the state’s right thing, how much is this a federal thing? Because presumably it’s a pandemic. So, there’s some kind of federal jurisdiction there, but it is a Federalist country, right?
Mr. Patel: Well, that’s what you’ve seen a lot of governors, a lot of governors across the country have come out Republican and have said, we, as the governor of Florida or South Dakota, or where have you, have said, we feel this is a state’s right decision. You, the federal government do not have the constitutional authority to tell us in the State of Florida or South Dakota, what to do.
So, as this mandate is being issued and we’re literally in the middle of it, it’s too hard to figure out how it’s going to play out. What they’re saying is that under the constitution, there’s this thing called a division of powers under the 10th amendment, which says, the federal government can do X, Y, and Z and everything that’s not delineated in the constitution for the federal government is reserved for the states.
So, the states have all the other powers, including police powers, which the federal government does not have. And so, these governors are saying protection of their citizens in their state is a state’s right issue, one that is not reserved to the federal government by the Constitution and thus falls to them to say, we don’t have to listen to this mandate.
That’s gonna be another challenge. I’m sure that you’ll see governors via their state’s attorney general will bring suit in federal court on behalf of the state saying that it’s a state’s right issue. What the Biden administration is baking on is the federal court saying no, it’s a federal issue and federal law trumps state law. But it’s an interesting legal argument. And I don’t think the Biden administration is going to come out on top on that one.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, no. And it’s interesting because this poll that I mentioned at the beginning, the Trafalgar Convention of States poll, found that I think almost 60 percent of the voters in total basically support governors challenging this.
Mr. Patel: I mean, that’s kind of the basis of not to get overly simplistic, but that’s why we have 50 states with 50 different sets of rules because people are free to move about and move into a certain state that they feel fits the way they want to live more.
That’s why there’s such drastic differences in states, take it to California, to a Texas, to an Illinois, to a Maine, right? They’re all very different—or Alaska, or Hawaii. And that’s what makes America so diverse in terms of how it can function on a state level.
And the only way the federal government comes in is through that reserve powers clause on the 10th amendment to say, we do have jurisdiction over this issue X, and since we have jurisdiction and trumps state right. But only the court can say that, or Congress has to adopt and amend the constitution or create a new law signed by the president. And that’s not gonna happen in this case.
Mr. Jekielek: So, one of the big things that I’ve seen this, some of the experts that I’ve spoken with personally, public health experts, they’re very concerned about this labeling the unvaxxed as being unclean. There’s a kind of divisiveness of—the vaccinated people are the righteous ones, the unvaccinated people are the unrighteous ones.
This is all the ethics of vaccination and the actual science of vaccination aside, that’s for other episodes, we’re not gonna talk about that here. But just simply this idea, right? That there’s a kind of moral component, so to speak, that’s spinning being kind of impugned on vaccination status which is interesting.
Mr. Patel: Yeah. I think that’s the political sort of side of it that the courts won’t consider. The courts are going to say, “We have two groups of people, those that are vaccinated, and those that are unvaccinated who are presenting a challenge. So legally, what are their rights and how do we delineate the rights of those that have been vaccinated under this mandate versus the rights of those who have not been vaccinated and are saying, we choose not to be vaccinated today, tomorrow or wherever.”
That’s the legal decision the courts are gonna have to say in terms of due process on whether or not those that have been unvaccinated have a right to bring it and whether or not state law carries the day, local law carries the day, and whether or not this mandate from the federal government is constitutional.
And that’s gonna be the decision, the political side of the theater. I don’t think it’s gonna stop ever because I think COVID is going to turn into our generation’s version of a flu with different variants and it’s not going away. It would have to be something we deal with every season and that’s just going to go on for years and decades.
Mr. Jekielek: What I do understand from a number of people that I consider to be experts is that it is likely it will become endemic. And it is something that you’re not gonna make disappear— like nobody is gonna be able to do that. So the concern again is that it’ll be blamed on the unvaccinated people.
Mr. Patel: But that’s like saying that, if you fast forward it, are we going to blame the entire population of Americans that doesn’t get a flu shot because they’re helping spread the flu? To me, it’s the same, right? Right now coronavirus just happens to be a pandemic because it’s an outbreak that we don’t have a hold of yet. But we don’t have a cure for the flu.
I’m not a doctor by any means, but every year people are offered a flu shot. It’s not mandated. And I don’t see the big distinction between the flu shot. I think this is something that courts are gonna consider versus the COVID vaccine shot. It’s going to be something that should be offered to Americans every year on a seasonal basis. And I don’t know how you can mandate the COVID shot, but not the flu shot.
And there’s a whole host of health reasons why you might not want to, I’ll just bring this one up as an anecdotal example.
There’s a popular female broadcaster on ESPN who had to leave the network last week because ESPN instituted a COVID mandate—a vaccination mandate. She is in the process of trying to have another child, and can’t do it through means. So, she’s in the IVO process. Her doctor has recommended to her that the COVID vaccine shot would hurt her chances of having another child, so she left the network.
I don’t imagine she’s the only one in that position who’s being given medical advice based on her conditions. And so she chose to leave her profession, which I think is wildly unfair. But that’s just one example of how this mandate affects people. And sometimes, most Americans don’t think that it shouldn’t be a mandate because of a legitimate medical reason.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, and there is this other element, and I do have to mention this because I think this has been documented in a number of places. One of the most established facts of COVID that I’m aware of is simply that natural immunity, ie, you’ve been infected. The immunity is incredibly effective, much more so than the vaccine, than any vaccine, right? But it doesn’t seem to be being considered here.
Mr. Patel: Actually now that you mentioned it, I think, well, not being a doctor, but I think everyone can agree. There’s no better immunity than your body’s natural immunity from having it.
Mr. Jekielek: And this is one of these few things that the science, as people often say, definitely says. There’s multiple, multiple peer reviewed papers that attest to this, even this Israeli Paper—27 times more effective after six months or something like this, I believe is the number. So we know that.
Mr. Patel: Yeah. And it’s amazing that I think, again, this is being overly politicized. This isn’t another one of those issues. It’s just allowing politics to destroy the fundamental basic understanding of what COVID is and how to treat it and how to respond to it. It’s becoming a call for the midterms. And what’s your position on COVID if it’s X or Y, this is how you need to vote.
I think that’s what’s happening with too many national security issues of the day. And this COVID is just another victim to the over politicization of a major event, a major medical event that’s a national security matter.
Mr. Jekielek: Speaking of the national security dimension, I can’t help but notice that the Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese regime seems to be doing a pretty good job of avoiding any accountability for the pandemic.
Mr .Patel: Yeah. There’s an old saying that says, the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. And I think for coronavirus, the greatest trick the Chinese government has gotten so many in the world to believe is that they’re not responsible for COVID.
Now, whether they’re intentionally responsible for COVID or accidentally responsible for COVID, they’re responsible for COVID.
And what China has done is put on a propaganda campaign to say, we’re not gonna even talk about COVID origins. We’re just going to go out into the world and talk about how we’ve helped since COVID happened and how we can financially help other countries who have been impacted by COVID, who don’t have the financial means to do so by providing vaccines or medical equipment or PPE as you would.
And instead of what I think the global response should have been was requesting access to the Wuhan Lab, which is an international laboratory partially funded by the United States, requesting access to the intelligence, the people that were working there at the time, the people in the community, allowing United Nations investigations to occur there, allowing a global team of investigators to go in like we do in places like Iran to look at their nuclear program. We should have allowed an international group to go into China to find out what happened under the COVID origins.
But the Chinese government, the CCP never wanted that. And they blocked it. And there should have been a consequence to that. There should have been a consequence to a virus that has led to the death of well over a million people globally, such as the United States, at least, imposing high tariffs on products from China and exacting a economic punishment until they allowed us access to the intelligence, to the people, so we could definitively tell the world what we already think happened.
And that’s what the ICA talks about that President Biden issued recently. But I don’t think the global powers in Europe or elsewhere have exacted any measure of relief from China for its responsibilities of the COVID origin. I think that’s something that many, too many have overlooked. We can talk about the ICA too, but that’s where I think many have failed.
Mr. Jekielek: So, let’s talk about the ICA. You have a bit of experience with ICs. But before we start, maybe just again, remind us what exactly an ICA is, how it works, what its purpose is and what came out here.
Mr. Patel: Sure. An ICA or an Intelligence Community Assessment is basically requested at the behest of the United States government and what their, usually a president or the office of the director of national intelligence; who is the head of the intelligence community and its 17 agencies and departments, an ICA is requested of all 17 agencies, which make up the United States Intelligence Community, the USIC.
And they’re saying, “Please look at this issue and answer the following questions.” And if you recall, there was an ICA requested by President Obama near the end of his term that John Brennan executed regarding the origins of the Russia conspiracy. And we can talk about the merits or lack thereof on a separate day, but that’s just an example of when another ICA was utilized by the president.
President Biden, fast forward to just recently, requested an ICA on COVID origins. That is he wanted the United States Intelligence Community to answer the question about where did COVID come from, how was it caused? And do we have any fidelity on where, when and why it exactly spread out to the world as a plague?
Now, I disagree with the issuance of an ICA in this instance, because as an individual who is running the Office of Director of National Intelligence with Rick Grinnell when COVID broke out as the deputy director, we had access to the most sensitive intelligence regarding the outbreaks of the COVID virus from China. And we briefed the president and his cabinet accordingly so they can make the appropriate decisions in real time.
That intelligence still exists in the repositories of the intelligence communities. All one has to do is go back and look at that intelligence, which I would’ve thought they already had been doing the entire time since we transitioned over from the Trump administration to the Biden administration.
But what this ICA does, it allows other agencies within the intelligence community to provide an opinion where I believe they shouldn’t be providing one.
I’ll give you an example. Say like the department asking the Department of Agriculture what they think on the origins of the COVID virus. And that’s what an IC does, is asking everybody what they think. The Department of Agriculture doesn’t have a mandate regarding COVID origins; an ICA does, CIA does, FBI might, DIA might, DOD might. So many other agencies who actually collect and have that intelligence. That’s in their bandwidth, in their professional capacity. They can speak to that.
And what an ICA does, it allows all of the governments, agencies and departments in the United States Intelligence Community to opine on the origins of COVID, where it came from, how it was an outbreak, and exactly what did the intelligence community do in response to that. And that dilutes the intelligence that existed at the time, because they’re speaking to it almost, what? Two years later.
And they’re saying now, “Well, we disagree with that agency and this department on the COVID origin. So, we, agency X who have nothing to do with COVID intelligence are going to say, “are going to dilute the assessment, the intelligence community assessment on where it came from.”
So, now you’re allowing China to get away with it even more so, because now you’re having a president issue in ICA and he’s letting departments and agencies that should never speak to COVID origin speak to them and make that document public, at least in part, to say the conclusory statement that, well, not all of us agree that this is where it came from.
And I think that’s harmful to national security having been there when the COVID outbreak broke out and having briefed the president and his cabinet secretaries on it. I think this ICA is as wrong as Brendan’s ICA was for Russiagate.
Mr. Jekielek: So, in this kind of a situation, what would you hope would happen next?
Mr. Patel: So, I would recommend a couple of things. One, the entire ICA itself needs to be declassified and put out for the American people to read. And not just the report, but the underlying intelligence cables and information that was used to have the ICA assessments come out. And if you look at it, it talks about these different IC elements and all that means is one agency or department thought X or Y.
But when any agency department, either singularly or collectively says, we have low confidence in the following, in IC speak. That means they have no idea what happened.
When it says IC elements have low confidence that the COVID virus was not genetically modified, in IC speak, in national security terminology, that means they don’t know what happened. Anything less than moderate confidence is something that they are basically guessing at, because they don’t have the answer.
And that’s dangerous to put in front of the American public and the world on the genetic modifications of COVID or its origins. And so that’s why I think this ICA is dangerous because it’s allowing the media who doesn’t know better to pick up these narratives and headlines when they actually don’t say what they mean.
Mr. Jekielek: So, Kash, I think this is where we’ll finish today. Time for our shout-out.
Mr. Patel: Indeed it is, Jan. Before we get to our specific shout-outs for this week, I’d like to thank the thousands of people who leave comments for Jan and I to read regarding the shows we’ve done on Kash’s Corner. We’re very appreciative of your support and we read them all and we look forward to those keep coming in.
We do have two specific shout-outs this week, one to Lisa Hancock. Thank you for your comments and support of the show, and another to SL Camp who is deaf and reads the transcripts of Kash’s Corner. SL, thank you for taking the time to read Kash’s Corner and we hope you continue to do so.
Mr. Jekielek: And we’ll see you next week on Kash’s Corner.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
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