A National Security Council official who has long been a target of Democrats is accusing Rep. Adam Schiff of colluding with Politico to publish what he said is a false story about his contacts with President Donald Trump, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.
Kash Patel, who serves as a senior counterterrorism official on the NSC, is suing the Virginia-based Politico for $25 million for defamation over two articles published in October alleging he served as a back-channel to Trump on Ukraine-related issues.
“Defendants’ reporting was categorically and knowingly false,” Patel stated in the lawsuit, which was filed against Politico and its owner, Robert Allbritton.
“Defendants intentionally employed a scheme or artifice to defame Kash with the intent to undermine the President’s confidence in Kash and to further Schiff’s impeachment inquisition,” Patel stated in the lawsuit, which was first reported by Fox News.
Patel said Politico and its reporter, Natasha Bertrand, “colluded, collaborated and conspired with Schiff to defame” him in articles published Oct. 23 and Oct. 30.
Bertrand reported that Patel was involved in “passing negative information” to Trump about Ukraine on Oct. 23. She reported Oct. 30 that Vindman, who serves as the NSC director on Ukraine, testified that Patel “misrepresented” himself to Trump.
But Patel is vehemently denying having contact with Trump regarding Ukraine.