Trump loyalist author of “Nunes Memo,” was installed at the Pentagon two weeks ago.
Indian American Kashyap “Kash” Patel, a Trump loyalist who was installed at the Pentagon two weeks ago, has been put in charge of the Defense Department’s transition to the new Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration.
Patel’s role was confirmed by a Pentagon spokesperson Tuesday after the General Services Administration allowed the Trump administration to begin talking with the incoming Biden team to begin the transition process, Politico reported.
Patel, a senior director of counter terrorism at the National Security Council, was named chief of staff to acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller the day after the president fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
His former chief of staff, Jen Stewart, resigned shortly after. Stewart was leading the transition effort before she left the Pentagon, so it was expected that Patel would take over those responsibilities, Politico said.
Patel previously worked for Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, and as a staffer played a key role in helping Republicans discredit the Russia probe.
He was one of the authors of the so-called Nunes Memo that accused the FBI and Justice Department of bias against Trump.
He also held a number of roles in the Trump administration, including on the National Security Council staff, in the office of former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, and most recently as a top White House counter-terrorism official.
Patel is no stranger to controversy. Last year, he had filed a defamation suit against Politico and journalist Natasha Bertrand after they reported that he was involved in President Trump’s plan to withhold $400 million in aid to Ukraine to pressure that country’s leader to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
He sought $25 million from Politico alleging defamation. He said that at no time before October 30, he had ever communicated on Ukraine with the President.
Publicly released transcripts of the congressional testimony of former NSC Russia expert Fiona Hill and its then-White House official Col. Alexander Vindman had also mentioned Patel’s role in the matter.