Republican memo was a great team effort says, Kashyap Pramod Patel

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Washington
7 Feb 2018

Indian-American lawyer Kashyap Pramod Patel, called by the US media as the author of a controversial Republican memo, has said the process of drafting the document was a "great team effort". The four-page 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 declassification of the memo was approved by President Donald Trump himself and it was later released to the public by House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence last week. "It's a team effort. Lots of people were involved in it," Patel told PTI in an exclusive interview. The 37-year-old lawyer explained how the news report appearing was contrary to this fact which has personally affected him and his family.
"I will let the memo speak for itself. It's a team effort. Lots of people are involved in it," he said, adding that he was part of the team.
After multiple American media outlets, including The New York Times, reported this past week that the Republican memo was drafted by him and described it as 'Kash memo' Patel and his family members, including his parents, who are currently in Baroda are constantly receiving phone calls from reporters. "No," he said when asked if this is a 'Kash memo' as being christened by The New York Times. "They (the daily) want to see if they can assign one person to it. What I'm telling you is it's...for my colleagues it's offensive because they put just as much of their time, effort into an effort it. So it's a great team effort," Patel said. The memo is a collection of facts, based on documents and interviews. It portrays the FBI in a negative light, alleging that the agency helped the Democratic Party and its presidential candidate Hillary Clinton against Trump, the eventual winner of the 2016 presidential elections.
Patel, who is the Senior Counsel for Counterterrorism at the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, rued that lots of media outlets have written about him incorrectly, despite the fact they were provided with factual information. "It's caused my family around the world to have been receiving phone calls from the media, which is unfortunate," Patel said. "For the media to attack (Congressional) staff personally and involve my family, it's an all-time low for them," he said. "Unfortunately a lot of (media) organisations are continuing to lose credibility by personalising work rather than focusing on letting the work speak for itself. We don't mind that people have opposing viewpoints. That's what our job is to allow people to see what have been covered and make their own decisions," Patel said.
After a year in this sensitive position, Congressman Davin Nunes, Chairman of the House Permanent Select on Intelligence Committee pulled him as senior counsel on counterterrorism.
After the elections, he asked him to spearhead the Russia investigation of the House Intelligence Committee. This he has been doing since April of 2017. The Russia investigation, Patel asserts is being carried out by a team, of the House intelligence Committee. As far as running the investigation, it is a Congress level decision. He said his responsibilities included running the actual day-to-day investigation, witnesses and collection of documents, taking interviews, obtaining depositions, reviewing information and figuring out where to go next. New York-born Patel has his roots in Gujarat. However, his parents are from East Africa mother from Tanzania and father from Uganda. They came to the US from Canada in 1970. He was an international terrorism prosecutor for about three and a half years. During this period, he worked on cases all over the world, in America in East Africa as well as in Uganda and Kenya. While, still employed by the Department of Justice, he went as a civilian to join Special Operations Command at the Department of Defence.
At the Pentagon, he sat as the Department of Justice's lawyer with Special Forces people and worked inter-agency collaborative targeting operations around the world. Since last April, he said the focus of the investigation has been Russian interference and to "find out the ultimate answer whether or not there was any collusion or cooperation between Russians and the Trump Campaign so that we can write a report and give it to the American people", so that people can read it and decide it for themselves what happened. "We are an oversight body. Our role is to provide oversight, not to charge people. That's the role of the Department of Justice," he said. (PTI)