A White House official filed a lawsuit against news website Politico and one of its reporters on Monday over stories and tweets, claiming they falsely accused him of lying and engaging in unethical conduct.
Kash Patel, who is the director of the National Security Council’s (NSC) counterterrorism department, is seeking $25 million in damages, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Virginia.
He accused Bertrand of writing false reports for Politico that claimed Patel was giving Trump negative information about Ukraine. The report also claimed he misrepresented himself as an expert on the country to Trump.
What’s more, Patel accused the defendants by working with House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and his staff members in an attempt to produce false reports about him, according to the suit.
“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,” he alleged in the lawsuit, as reported by Breitbart.
Patel added: “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.”
It further claimed that from mid-October until Nov. 8, Politico and Bertrand conspired, colluded, and collaborated with Schiff and his staff to defame Patel. It alleged that Schiff leaked information to Bertrand as the closed-door portion of the House Democrat-led impeachment inquiry was being conducted when former NSC specialist Fiona Hill and NSC Director of European Affairs Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified.
“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 suit alleged.
Patel then stated that Vindman and Hill made “false and defamatory statements” during their testimonies, including “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.”
According to the lawsuit, Politico knew that the information it would publish about Patel was false.
“The transcripts demonstrate that Politico, Bertrand, Schiff, and his staffers misled the public in the First and Second Politico Pieces, and intentionally lied about the substance of Hill and Vindman’s interviews,” the suit said. “Politico, Bertrand, and Allbritton knew that Schiff had a preconceived agenda that he was actively promoting. They knew about Schiff’s extreme bias and hatred of President Trump. Significantly, they also knew that Schiff was a wholly unreliable source because of his penchant to tell lies and to mislead.”
Patel denied the allegations that were levied against him in the testimonies. Earlier this month, he stated he never spoke to Trump about Ukraine.
Fox News reported that his lawsuit stemmed from Bertrand’s Oct. 23 article, titled, “Nunes Protege Fed Ukraine Info to Trump.”
The Politico article stated that 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.” It added, “At one point Trump thought he was in charge of Ukraine policy for the National Security Council.”
But Patel stated that “at no time” before Oct. 30 did he ever “communic[ate] with the president on any matters involving Ukraine. Kash never supplied any Ukraine ‘materials’ to the president,” Fox reported.
The court documents stated that he is seeking a jury trial.
The suit also called him a “private individual” and not a public White House figure.