In May, during a protracted dispute with the National Archives, former Trump administration official Kash Patel claimed that classified records housed at Mar-a-Lago had been declassified by President Trump upon his departure from office in January 2021.
Who Is Kash Patel?
Author: Pramod Kashyap “Kash” Patel is an American attorney and ex-official who was born on February 25, 1980.
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Under President Trump, he was the acting Secretary of Defense’s chief of staff. Patel has served as a legal liaison to the United States Armed Forces, a federal public defender, and a federal prosecutor working on national security issues. He has also worked at the United States National Security Council and the United States House of Representatives. Republican ideology is closest to his heart.
Born in Garden City, New York to Indian Gujarati parents who had migrated to the United States from East Africa via Canada in 1980, Kashyap “Kash” Patel is the son of two immigrants.
He completed high school at Garden City. Patel earned his degree from the University of Richmond in 2002. In 2004, he acquired a diploma in international law from University College London, and in 2005, he graduated with a Juris Doctor from Pace University.
Patel served as a public defender in Florida for eight years after earning his law degree in 2005, first for Miami-Dade County and then for the federal government. He worked as a public defense for people accused of serious crimes like murder, gun possession infractions, and drug trafficking over international borders.
In 2014, he agreed to take part in a bachelor auction of “extremely gorgeous lawyers” reported by Above the Law to support Switchboard of Miami, but he later backed out after a blogger pointed out that his Florida law license had expired.
The president may have verbally declassified some information, but no record of this exists. Mr. Patel has stated that this is irrelevant. “If the president says it or writes it, it’s declassified,” he explained.
The President’s Wide-Ranging Declassification Powers.
There are many lawyers who disagree with this and insist that the president’s wide-ranging declassification powers must be accompanied by a system that keeps track of the papers that have been declassified. Declassification “even by a President must follow established procedures,” the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2020.
The case at hand concerned whether or not President Trump had violated the law by tweeting and otherwise publicly discussing a top-secret CIA operation. According to sources familiar with the probe, protecting the secret information was the Justice Department’s top priority during the search. After months of back-and-forth over the government’s desire to retrieve the records, culminating in a subpoena on June 3 that led to the transfer of some materials at the property, the two parties finally took action.
Mr. Patel Initially Told a Conservative News.
Mr. Patel initially told a conservative news site that Mr. Trump declassified large groups of papers, but he later said he was unaware of the subpoena at the time. According to him, the General Services Administration is in charge of packing and delivering items from the Trump White House. According to a GSA representative quoted by The Wall Street Journal, the agency “engaged into a support contract, in this particular instance, for shipping of the pallets from Virginia to Florida—not for the packaging of the boxes.”
It was the responsibility of the outgoing presidential transition team and its volunteers to pack the objects, GSA noted. Former President Bush nominated Mr. Patel and conservative journalist John Solomon in June to serve as his personal emissaries to the National Archives in charge of the transfer of presidential records.
The FBI’s Conduct.
As investigators go over the confiscated documents and evaluate the activities of people who had custody of them, the Justice Department may decide to pursue criminal charges. The search warrant also references laws that forbid interfering with federal investigations, concealing or destroying government information, and mishandling material relevant to national defense, all of which are violations.
In criticizing the inquiry and the FBI‘s conduct, Mr. Patel’s words suggest a line of thinking on the part of the former president and his supporters. Since Mr. Trump is considering another run for president in 2024, many Republicans have condemned the search as being excessive and aimed to hurt his political standing. Some have even urged the agency for more information.
The Justice Department.
Mr. Patel also claimed that the Justice Department had blocked the public distribution of declassified evidence that President Trump had uncovered during the Russia investigation, which was itself investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller.
While Mr. Mueller did uncover evidence of Russian interference in the election, he was unable to prove that there was a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow’s activities.