While Rep. Devin Nunes is taking all of the credit, or more accurately, the blame, for the memo that was released by the Republicans on the House Intelligence committee, in fact, the memo was written by several people, including staff members working for the committee.
Now The New York Times is reporting that the primary author of the memo is a senior staffer working directly for Nunes, Kashyap Patel, who made a secret trip to London to try to track down and meet Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence agent who compiled the damning dossier on the President funded by both conservative Republican opponents of Trump and, later, by the Clinton campaign.
According to The New York Times, Nunes sent Patel and another aide to London to try to contact Steele and arrange a meeting outside of official channels. The two aides showed up at Steele’s office without an appointment and were told that he was not there at the moment.
Not giving up after one effort, the pair tracked Steele down to his lawyers’ offices and turned up, again unannounced, where they were turned away without getting the meeting they so earnestly sought.
This ridiculous fishing expedition was funded by U.S. taxpayers but wasn’t approved or even known about by the Democratic members of the Committee in a startling breach of Congressional protocol.
“A senior official A senior official for the Republican majority on the Intelligence Committee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the matter, said the purpose of the visit had been to make contact with Mr. Steele’s lawyers, not Mr. Steele,” according to The New York Times.
Apparently showing up on their doorstep unannounced is not the best way to get a meeting with either Steele or his lawyers, whom they never did get to speak to. Typically, a meeting like the one they sought “would be coordinated through lawyers, conducted with knowledge of the House Democrats, who were not informed, and the American Embassy,” The Times noted.
The article paints a picture of Mr. Patel as someone who has often “run afoul of the rules,” citing an incident in a Houston court where a judge admonished his participation in a terrorist case he had flown into town to attend, telling him:
“The last thing I need here, Mr. Patel,” according to a transcript of the hearing, “is a bureaucrat who flies down here at great expense and causes trouble rather than actually is a productive member of the team.”
Given the shadow of a doubt that the memo has cast upon the FBI and its integrity, at least amongst the low-information citizens of the country who only know what they hear on Fox News, Nunes probably would consider his aide a productive member of his team at least. Hopefully, they’ll all be prosecuted as a team for obstruction of justice along with the President that they’re trying so desperately to protect from his own malfeasance.