Republican memo mainly written by PIO lawyer Kashyap 'Kash' Patel
Washington: A controversial Republican memo that accuses the FBI of political bias has primarily been written by Indian-American lawyer Kashyap "Kash" Patel, according to a media report.
The "Kash memo" portrays the FBI in a negative light, alleging that the agency helped the Democratic party and its presidential candidate Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump, the eventual winner of the 2016 presidential elections, The New York Times reported.
The report said the explosive memo was primarily written by Patel, a committee staff member for Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee.
The office of Congressman Nunes where Patel works has refuted the report that he is the author of the memo which they assert is a collective and team effort.
"The problem is the lack of facts. Kash being the 'driving force' behind the memo is not a fact. Kash being the 'pusher of the memo' is not a fact. Unnamed people referring to 'the Kash memo' is not a fact," Jack Langer, a spokesperson for Nunes was quoted as saying by the Daily Beast.
Patel did not immediately respond to a PTI query on this.
In an email to The New York Times, Damon Nelson, staff director of the House Select Committee on Intelligence said that no single member was responsible for the memo and that its creation was a "team effort" that involved investigators who had access to source material.
"The clamour to identify 'an author' is indicative of an alarming trend by opponents of our investigation which is to promote spurious allegations against committee members and staff. They will not impact the committee's focus and commitment to continue this investigation," Nelson was quoted as saying. At the same time, he praised Patel, saying, "We value Kash's dedication and his contributions to the committee's oversight efforts". Patel did not immediately respond to a PTI query on this.
According to media reports, Patel attracted media attention early this summer when he travelled to London along with another staffer in search of Christopher Stelle, author of a controversial dossier on Trump. However, he could not succeed in his effort.
Patel, 37, who grew up in New York, graduated from the University of Richmond in 2002. He is the chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. He is senior counsel on counter terrorism.
Before joining the House Select Committee on Intelligence, Patel was a trial attorney in the National Security Division of the Justice Department.
He joined the house committee in April 2017.