Since the Democrats launched their impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump over his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, we have seen the leftist mainstream media launch accusations against the White House. And now one news outlet is facing the consequences of those actions.
The National Security Council’s senior counterterrorism director, Kash Patel, on Monday filed a libel lawsuit against POLITICO and Natasha Bertrand, a POLITICO reporter and MSNBC contributor, Fox News reported.
Patel is seeking $25 million in damages over stories and tweets that he argued falsely accuse him of “lying, deceit and unethical conduct.”
The suit stems from Bertrand’s Oct. 23 story, headlined “Nunes Protege Fed Ukraine Info to Trump.” Patel previously worked for Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, spearheading the Intel Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, before joining the White House in February.
The Politico piece said Patel “was among those passing negative information about Ukraine to President Donald Trump earlier this year, fueling the president’s belief that Ukraine was brimming with corruption and interfered in the 2016 election on behalf of Democrats.”
Patel was “so involved in the issue,” the story said, that “at one point Trump thought he was in charge of Ukraine policy for the National Security Council.” This was attributed to closed-door House testimony by Fiona Hill,” a former NSC official. What’s more, Politico said, “Patel’s involvement demonstrates that the president had at least some support for the scheme from within the NSC” -- the scheme being to pressure Ukraine into investigations that would help Trump politically.
In fact, Patel’s suit says, “at no time” before Oct. 30 “had Kash ever communicated with the president on any matters involving Ukraine. Kash never supplied any Ukraine ‘materials’ to the president.”
The lawsuit also targets House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA). Patel's suit argues POLITICO's reporting "acted in concert" with Schiff and his aides to further the impeachment saga by “destroy[ing] Kash’s reputation” as a lawyer and member of the White House.
Patel also argues that Fiona Hill and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman fabricated the story that he provided materials on Ukraine to the president. His suit says POLITICO would have known that if they "bothered to wait for the transcript." The news outlet used leaked testimony for their stories, not the actual transcript, which is likely to cause controversy.
POLITICO dismissed the lawsuit as a public relations move.
“This lawsuit is high on bombast and low on merit. It is unserious and is a public relations tactic designed to intimidate journalists and media organizations from doing their job," POLITICO Spokesman Brad Dayspring told Fox News.