Kash Patel Sues FBI, DOJ Officials for Seeking His Personal Records

Kash Patel speaking with attendees at the 2022 AmericaFest at the Phoenix Convention Cente
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Former Trump national security official Kash Patel filed a lawsuit on Monday against FBI Director Christopher Wray, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and other current and former officials for violating his Fourth Amendment right to protection from unreasonable searches and seizures when they sought his personal records.

In November 2017, FBI and Justice Department officials obtained a subpoena for Patel’s personal information while he worked as the House Intelligence Committee’s lead investigator looking into Crossfire Hurricane, which was the FBI’s probe into the Trump campaign based on Hillary Clinton and cronies’ phony allegations of “collusion” with Russia.

Democratic Nominee for President of the United States former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets and speaks to Iowa voters during a rally at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, October 28, 2016. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The lawsuit, posted online by Just the News, states:

On November 20, 2017, while Mr. Patel was still in his role as Senior Counsel and Chief Investigator for the [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence], the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) secretly sought a grand jury subpoena to compel Google to turn over Mr. Patel’s private email account data. They did so in complete contravention of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees against unreasonable search and seizure.

The FBI and DOJ had reason to fear the oversight of the HPSCI, as Mr. Patel had already discovered that Crossfire Hurricane was opened under questionable circumstances and improperly sustained by the infamous and unsubstantiated Steele Dossier, which was paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”). He further found that this critical information was not adequately presented to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (“FISC”) when seeking Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”) warrants.

DOJ sought the subpoena for Mr. Patel’s private accounts without a legitimate basis in a chilling attempt to surveil the person leading the Legislative Branch’s investigation into the Department of Justice’s conduct during the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. This was a blatant abuse and violation of the separation of powers by DOJ, a violation of Mr. Patel’s constitutional rights, and an attempt to find a way to silence an investigation into DOJ’s questionable conduct, as detailed below. DOJ couldn’t subpoena Mr. Patel’s official accounts without sparking a public, political and legal battle; thus, they went for his personal accounts, in a non-public and unconstitutional manner, seeking dirt on Mr. Patel.

DOJ and FBI officials sought from Patel’s personal Google accounts:

— Names, including subscriber names, usernames, and screen names;
— Addresses, including email addresses, mailing addresses, residential addresses, and business addresses;
— Local and long-distance telephone connection records;
— Records of session times and durations;
— Length of service, including start date, and type of service utilized;
— Telephone or instrument numbers, including MAC addresses, Electronic Serial Numbers (“ESN”), Mobile Electronic Identity Numbers (MEIN), Mobile Equipment Identifier (“MEID”), Mobile Identification Numbers (MIN), Subscriber Identity Modules (“SIM”), MSISDN, International Mobile Subscriber Identifiers (“IMSI”), or International Mobile Station Equipment Identities (“IMEI”);
— Other subscriber numbers or identities, including temporarily assigned network addresses and registration internet protocol (“IP”) addresses; and
— Means and source of payment for such services, including any credit card or bank account numbers and billing records.

Google provided responses to the subpoena on or about December 5, 2017, according to the lawsuit.

Patel was completely unaware of the subpoena until five years later — December 2022 — when Google notified him about it.

Specifically, Patel is suing Wray, Rosenstein, Rosenstein’s then-aide Robert Hur (who is now leading the probe into President Joe Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents), former U.S. Attorney for D.C. Jesse Liu, former DOJ National Security Division official Ed O’Callahan, and two unnamed John Does.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (R) and FBI Director Christopher Wray (L) testify during a House Judiciary Committee hearing June 28, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on oversight of FBI and DOJ actions surrounding the 2016 election. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (R) and FBI Director Christopher Wray (L) testify during a House Judiciary Committee hearing June 28, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on oversight of FBI and DOJ actions surrounding the 2016 election. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

“The FBI and DOJ, through their agents, 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 states.

“It is particularly troubling and a clear violation of Mr. Patel’s Fourth Amendment rights that the FBI and DOJ agents would seek Mr. Patel’s personal information due to his role in a legitimate oversight investigation. Moreover, it is a shocking and troubling violation of the separation of powers that the FBI and DOJ, through its agents, refused to comply with and instead sought retribution against those carrying out said investigation initiated in the Legislative Branch,” it added.

“Mr. Patel is entitled to relief for the FBI and DOJ’s unjustified and illegal actions in violation of his constitutional rights. Moreover, a strong statement must be made condemning the partisan, improper, and unconstitutional actions to prevent repetition of this egregious conduct.”

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