The Department of Justice (DOJ) used a subpoena to obtain the personal cell phone and email data of Kash Patel, who was then a lead investigator at the House Intelligence Committee, in 2017, according to Just The News.
The website reported that Patel and another colleague had their data subpoenaed by the DOJ at a time when committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) was questioning the role of the FBI in the “Russia collusion” hoax.
Just The News reported:
The subpoenas, obtained by Just the News, show the DOJ demanded that Google turn over personal email and phone data from the two senior staffers on Nov. 20, 2017 and that responsive materials were to be returned to DOJ by Dec. 5, 2017.
The subpoenas were delivered during a critical time frame in the committee’s effort to expose the Donald Trump-Russia collusion investigation as having been driven by an uncorroborated political opposition dossier funded by Hillary Clinton. Nunes’ committee was locked at the time in a bitter struggle to force the FBI and DOJ to turn over records to the committee.
The DOJ subpoenas came to light in the last few days when the former committee staffers were informed by Google that their records had been taken, consistent with the Big Tech company’s policy of alerting customers five years after law enforcement takes such actions.
At the time, Democrats and the media routinely accused Nunes of misconduct as he closed in on the scandal of outgoing Obama administration officials asking for incoming Trump administration officials to be “unmaksed” in conversations intercepted by electronic surveillance.
One such unmasking was used to accuse then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, falsely, of violating the Logan Act during the presidential transition.
Democrats became obsessed with Patel, and routinely sought to discredit him.
In 2019, under Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who replaced Nunes as chair of the committee when Democrats took over the House that year, the first impeachment investigation into then-President Donald Trump questioned witnesses about Patel and even obtained records of some of Patel’s phone calls with then-presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Patel told Just The News that the FBI and DOJ had committed an “egregious abuse of power” by spying on him. No charges were every brought against him and he was never found to have committed any wrongdoing. (In a separate case, he was ordered last month to testify before a grand jury investigating former President Trump’s handling of White House documents after he left office and returned to his residence at Mar-a-Lago, Florida.)
If confirmed, this would not be the first time that a law enforcement or intelligence agency had snooped on congressional investigators. In 2014, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who chaired the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, accused the CIA of spying on members of her staff who were investigating its interrogation methods. Then-CIA Director John Brennan apologized for the intrusion and there were calls for him to resign.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
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