Kash Patel sues FBI director, former Trump DOJ officials for allegedly targeting personal records

Patel's private accounts were subpoenaed while he worked on the House Intelligence Committee, but he only recently found out about it.

Published: September 18, 2023 8:54am

Updated: September 18, 2023 6:46pm

Former Trump National Security Council official Kash Patel filed a lawsuit Monday against FBI Director Chris Wray and former Trump Justice Department officials, accusing them of violating his Fourth Amendment right to protection from unreasonable searches and seizures when they tried to obtain Patel's personal records.

The FBI and Justice Department officials named in the lawsuit obtained a subpoena in November 2017 for Patel's "personal information as part of a politically motivated investigation," and Google handed over responses to the subpoena the following month, the lawsuit obtained by Just the News states. 

Patel said he was completely unaware of the subpoena until December 2022, when Google notified him about it. 

The defendants, which include then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, "improperly and politically targeted Mr. Patel’s personal records because of his official position and actions in furtherance of the United States House of Representatives’ lawful investigation into the Department of Justice’s handling of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation," the lawsuit also states. 

Patel's private accounts were subpoenaed while he worked as senior counsel and chief investigator for then Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., on the House Intelligence Committee investigating the FBI and Justice Department for their conduct in Crossfire Hurricane, the federal investigation of the since-disproven allegations that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to win the 2016 election.

Speaking on the Monday edition of the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show, Patel explained that his lawsuit asked, "who's watching the watchers?"

"DOJ Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Chris Wray sat in a SCIF [sensitive compartmented information facility] with Devin Nunes and I in December of 2017, and lied to our faces when they threatened to investigate us for doing our jobs, because two months before that, they had already issued the subpoenas against me and other staffers," he said, explaining that the the subpoenas in question were extremely "invasive."

In addition to Rosenstein and Wray, the defendants also include Rosenstein's aide Robert Hur, who is now leading the probe of President Joe Biden's alleged mishandling of classified documents, former U.S. Attorney for D.C. Jesse Liu, former Justice Department National Security official Ed O'Callahan and two unnamed John Does.

Before Patel filed his lawsuit, the House Judiciary Committee in July opened an investigation into why the executive branch probed Patel and another unnamed congressional staffer during the height of the Russia investigation.

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