According to a new report from The New York Times, senior White House officials reportedly suspected that a colleague whom they viewed as a "political partisan" was "ferrying documents about Ukraine in recent months to President Trump," creating another backchannel for him to manipulate foreign policy.
Colleagues grew alarmed after hearing that Mr. Trump had referred to Kashyap Patel, a National Security Council aide who figured prominently in Republicans’ efforts to undermine the Russia investigation, as one of his top Ukraine policy specialists and that the president wanted to discuss related documents with him, according to people briefed on the matter. Mr. Patel, who is known as Kash, is assigned to work on counterterrorism issues, not Ukraine policy.
Any involvement by Mr. Patel in Ukraine issues would mark another attempt by Mr. Trump’s political loyalists to go around American policymakers to shape policy toward Kiev. It was separate, two of the people said, from the irregular, informal channel led by the president’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and Gordon D. Sondland, the American ambassador to the European Union, that is the subject of House Democrats’ impeachment investigation.
Patel, who formerly worked as an investigator for the House Intelligence Committee under Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), was the lead author of the so-called "Nunes memo" from last year which accused the FBI and the Justice Department of having a political agenda in regards to the Russia investigation.
The Times reports that the National Security Council’s former senior director for Eurasian and Russian affairs, Fiona Hill, testified last week that Patel was "improperly" sending information to President Trump in regards to Ukraine.
Read The New York Times' full report here.
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