The New York Times allegedly “colluded, collaborated, and conspired” with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) to leak false information from a closed-door deposition to harm President Donald Trump and advance the “impeachment inquisition,” according to claims contained in a defamation lawsuit filed Wednesday by a senior Trump White House official.
White House official Kash Patel, who is a senior counterterrorism official on the National Security Council (NSC), filed the lawsuit in a Virginia court. In it he claims Schiff leaked allegedly false information from the October 14 closed-door deposition by Dr. Fiona Hill, a former NSC official.
Hill’s deposition was supposed to be closed to the public and even many lawmakers.
Patel filed a similar lawsuit against Politico for “working in concert” with Schiff to leak allegedly false information from closed-door depositions.
In her November 21 public testimony, Hill accused the Democrats of mischaracterizing her comments about Patel, undermining the Politico stories gleaned from leaks from Schiff, the chief impeachment inquisitor.
Patel is a former staffer to the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), who later moved to the White House in the NSC to advise the president on national security and intelligence matters.
On Wednesday, Patel filed the defamation suit in Virginia’s Circuit Court of Fairfax against the Times and Adam Goldman, both identified as defendants.
Patel accuses the defendants of defaming him by working with Schiff and members of his staff to disseminate a false story about him from Hill’s testimony.
In the lawsuit, Patel, who identifies himself as Kash, alleges:
Between October 14, 2019 and November 8, 2019, Goldman and the Times colluded, collaborated and conspired with Schiff to defame Kash. Schiff, or members of his staff or aides acting at his direction, leaked to Goldman the closed-door testimony that Hill gave in the subfloor of the Capitol Visitor Center. The leaks occurred in real-time. Schiff leaked the testimony to Goldman 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 joint collaborative purpose of the leaks was to publish Hill’s false and defamatory statements, including Hill’s egregious personal attacks on Kash, so as to further Schiff and the Times’ interests in harming the President and advancing the impeachment inquisition. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Goldman secretly communicated with Schiff or his staff via encrypted email, including proton-mail, and/or encrypted messaging, including Signal.
Based on the leaks, Goldman’s report for the Times alleged that Patel was misrepresenting himself to Trump as a Ukraine director during secret meetings, something by the NSC official.
Similar to the case involving Politico, Patel stressed that Goldman and the Times worked “in concert” with Schiff and his staff to willfully defame him, noting in the lawsuit:
Defendants made the false statements with actual or constructive knowledge that they were false or with reckless disregard for whether they were false. Defendants acted with actual malice and reckless disregard for the truth for the following reasons:
a. 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.
b. Defendants knew that Kash did not engage in the unlawful and salacious behavior described in the NYT Article. Defendants relied on sources that were known to be inherently unreliable. Defendants fabricated statements. They made up statements out of whole cloth.
f. 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; did not report truth; did not minimize harm; did not act independently; and they most certainly were not transparent.
The New York Times has “refused to retract or clarify their false and defamatory” reports, Patel notes.
Patel is seeking the sum of $44,600,000 or more for the defamation he suffered and “actual damages, including, but not limited to, insult, pain, embarrassment, humiliation, mental suffering, injury to his reputation, special damages, costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses.”
He is also seeking $350,000 for punitive damages. Patel is demanding trial by jury.
Breitbart News highlighted the lies about Patel disseminated in an October 23 story by the Times written by Julian Barnes, Adam Goldman, and Nicholas Fandos.