Former Trump administration official Kash Patel fought back Monday against recent allegations that the Justice Department is investigating whether he improperly disclosed classified information in an attempt to reveal that former President Trump was being targeted by the so-called "deep state" within the federal government.
The allegations about the federal investigation of Patel appeared Friday in a Washington Post story by columnist David Ignatius, who said his report was based on "two knowledgeable sources who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe."
"I think it's the height of hypocrisy for the individual that started the Russiagate hoax by publishing classified information himself … to accuse the individual who led the investigation to expose the Democratic fraud and FBI fraud that occurred of himself exposing classified information," Patel said on "Just the News AM." "I think that's hilariously hypocritical."
In the waning days of the Obama administration, Ignatius published a column based on a classified leak he received about a Dec. 29, 2016 phone call between Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and Sergey Kislyak – at the time the incoming national security advisor and the Russian ambassador to the U.S., respectively.
Patel was a counterterrorism prosecutor in the Justice Department's National Security Division under Trump and a Trump loyalist within the U.S. intelligence community, according to Law&Crime.com.
He published a memo in 2018 alleging the FBI intentionally misled a FISA court judge about the origins of the now-discredited, opposition research document known as the Steele dossier. FBI officials allegedly misled the judge so they could surveil the Trump 2016 campaign and help Democratic rival Hillary Clinton win the election.
Patel, whose parents are from East Africa, on Monday implied the allegations against him could have racial implications.
"And it just shows the irony of this old white man coming after the first minority to hold the positions of chief of staff, principal DNI and senior counsel for senior director for counterterrorism," Patel told show host Sophie Mann. "And that's all I have to say about him while my lawyer and I review the matter for next steps."
Ignatius also said the sources said the investigation resulted from a complaint made this year by an intelligence agency.
Some allegations regarding the FBI's abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies inside the country made by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, were proven true.
An investigation by the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General did not find "documentary or testimonial evidence" that the FISA requests were politically motivated. Special Counsel John Durham is continuing to investigate the FBI role in the origins and conduct of its Crossfire Hurricane investigation into since-discredited allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 election.