Former Trump administration official Kash Patel filed a lawsuit last week over the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI’s “politically motivated” effort to obtain a subpoena for his personal email account data in 2017.
Patel, who at the time was the investigator leading the House Intelligence Committee’s probe into FBI and DOJ conduct in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, alleges the DOJ violated separation of powers and his Fourth Amendment rights when it sought a subpoena of his personal email account in 2017. The lawsuit names seven individuals who were officials at the time, including FBI Director Chris Wray and former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie Liu, as defendants.
“Rather than seeking to obtain information openly from Mr. Patel’s official accounts, which would have provoked an immediate response and legal fight with the United States House of Representatives, DOJ instead sought—non-publicly and unconstitutionally—to access his private accounts through a third-party subpoena,” the lawsuit alleges. “They did so to avoid public scrutiny, because they were improperly investigating the man who was investigating them.”
Patel’s work on the Committee was instrumental in uncovering details related to the Steele dossier financed by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign, which led to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants to be used against former Trump advisor Carter Page.
Google responded to the subpoena on Dec. 5, 2017, but Patel was unaware of it until Google notified him on Dec. 12, 2022, that it had been issued, according to the lawsuit.
Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, also named as a defendant, threatened to subpoena several other committee staffers in response to their oversight, which a staffer called a “not-so-veiled threat to unleash the full prosecutorial power of the state against us,” according to the lawsuit.
Liu, Rosenstein and Patel’s lawyer Jason Greaves did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. The FBI declined to comment.