The Plot Against The President: by Devin Nunes
Just this excerpt is a great read!
The following is an excerpt from Lee Smith’s forthcoming book, The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History, which will be released October 29.
… In mid-March 2017, California congressman Devin Nunes, then Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), found out the FBI had obtained a warrant to spy on Donald Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. And they’d used the Steele dossier, opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign, as evidence.
But Nunes and his committee couldn’t say anything, not to the U.S. public, not even to fellow members of Congress. The FBI and DOJ had buried the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant, like so much of the anti-Trump operation, under the heading of classified intelligence.
It marked a low point for Nunes’ team. Shortly after, former DOJ prosecutor Kashyap Patel joined them. At first Patel’s new colleagues didn’t know what to make of him. As a New Yorker, Patel’s style sometimes clashed with those of the easygoing Californians, southerners, and midwesterners who made up the HPSCI staff.
Nunes told his team he trusted Patel. “I wanted Kash to lead, and I wanted them to follow his lead,” says Nunes. “I hired him to bust doors down and didn’t want them to get in his way.”
Patel likes to mix it up in the corners. He’s a lifelong hockey fanatic. He coaches youth hockey in the Washington, DC, area and skates defense for the nationally renowned Dons, an amateur team named after the hockey commentator and fashion legend Don Cherry.
Patel grew up on Long Island cheering for his local franchise, the New York Islanders, and was born in Queens, like the forty-fifth president.
He says he knew Trump was going to win the moment he came down the escalator . “One, he’s from New York and doesn’t like to lose. He plans everything. Two, no one dominates the media like that guy. So everyone calls me crazy for eighteen months, but I was right.”
We’re sitting in one of the few remaining Washington, DC, bars where smoking cigars is permitted. Patel hands me a Gurkha, made by a friend in Miami, Kaizad Hansotia, and lights it. He says he was expecting that there would be irregularities with the FBI’s Russia investigation, code-named Crossfire Hurricane. He knew the figures involved, FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, FBI agent Peter Strzok, and his mistress FBI lawyer Lisa Page. “They’re really good agents and really good lawyers,” Patel says.
The problem, he says, was that there was no accountability in significant parts of Obama’s Justice Department, often even when dealing with high-profile cases. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the way the upper echelons worked. It was out of the ordinary, Patel thought, that FBI director James Comey had never investigated the Democratic National Committee’s servers after the alleged Russian hack of DNC emails.
“Instead, Comey just accepted CrowdStrike’s assessment,” says Patel. “Some random outside company that happened to be retained by Perkins Coie, the Clinton campaign’s lawyers. I never worked a case involving cyber where the FBI said, ‘Let’s not use our own people on this one.’ You’re supposed to do it yourself, you’re the FBI.”
For Patel, Comey’s exoneration of Clinton was stark illustration of everything that was wrong at DOJ. “He hijacked the Clinton investigation. That was not his call to make. You don’t go on TV and say…
‘I, the FBI director, am deciding what is a prosecutor’s decision.’ And by the way, all my colleagues in the national security division, all truly apolitical, every one of us would have taken the Clinton case to a grand jury.”
Patel had had enough. “I was at the doctor’s that day, and he asked why my blood pressure was running so high. I told him it was Comey’s speech. All that just added up over time,
… and I was thinking ‘I got to get out of here.’”
When Patel accepted the job with Nunes’s team, he didn’t know much about Congress or the Intelligence Committee. “But I was prepared to know who I would be dealing with in DOJ when I came on. I told Devin that we will find that the people running the Russia investigation will have done inappropriate things. Maybe from an outsider’s view looking in, I might have also called myself crazy for saying that. Because it’s supposed to be DOJ.”