Indian American Kash Patel at the center of Jan. 6 subpoenas battle

Kash Patel
Kash Patel; Photo credit: Department of Defense

The House committee will move criminal contempt charges against those who do not comply with its subpoenas

Indian American Kash Patel, a staunch loyalist of Donald Trump, is at center of a subpoena battle between the House Democrats investigating the January 6th riot on Capitol Hill and senior officials who worked for the former president.

The first batch of subpoenas has been issued by the select committee investigating the January 6 riots. The panel is investigating the role of various officials in the Trump administration in the riot, which was intended to stop the certification of then President-elect Joe Biden over Trump.

As per CNN, the subpoena was delivered to Patel, who served as the chief of staff to Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller in the waning days of the Trump administration. Others former Trump officials who received subpoena include former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, and Dan Scavino, former White House deputy chief of staff.

Read: Who is Kash Patel, Indian American official caught in the Ukraine scandal? (November 22, 2019)

The committee requested Patel and Bannon to appear on October 14th.

Patel told CNN in a statement that he was “disappointed, but not surprised.” He said, “I will continue to tell the truth to the American people about the events of January 6th.”

According to the official letter sent to Patel by House Select Chairman Bennie G. Thompson, there is “substantial reason” to believe that the Indian American could have relevant additional document and information in understanding the role played by the Department of Defense and the White House in preparing for and responding to the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Patel has received a lot of attention recently as he was accused by Trump’s former top Russia adviser Fiona Hill of “running a secret backchannel to President Trump on Ukraine matters,” as Axios reported.

Patel became more active in US-Ukraine ties while on the National Security Council, according to Hill’s congressional testimony, to the point that Trump considered him as the designated point man on the issue.

While talking to Axios about the issue Patel said he never “communicated with the president on any matters involving Ukraine.”

Read: Kash Patel files $50 million defamation lawsuit against CNN (December 16, 2020)

“I pride myself on my record as a dedicated national security professional who is entrusted to handle our nation’s most sensitive matters,” he said in a subsequent statement. “At no time have I strayed from my mission to protect the homeland in service to President Trump and the National Security Council.”

Patel is a lawyer who has in the past worked for the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee when California Republican David Nunes was its chair. He is better known as the principal author of Nunes Memo issued by the GOP congressman accusing the FBI and the Justice Department of bias against Trump. An alumnus of the University of Richmond, Patel has also in the past, worked as a counter-terrorism prosecutor at the Justice Department.

Read: Indian American Kash Patel leads transition at Pentagon (November 25, 2020)

Read: Indian American Kash Patel named chief of staff to new acting defense secretary (November 10, 2020)

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