Aug 2019
Aug 2019

Lawyer Kashyap Patel promoted as senior director by President Trump in White House National Security Council

Kashyap “Kash” Patel, 38, a lawyer who and a Trump loyalist, has been promoted as senior director of counter-terrorism of the White House-based National Security Council (NSC), according to media reports.

He is a former senior staffer of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee working for its Republican leadership, which he left in February to join the NSC's International Organizations and Alliances directorate.

The NSC is the president's main outfit for coordinating security and foreign policy matters and is headed by National Security Adviser John Bolton. Earlier in his career, Patel had been a counter-terrorism prosecutor for the Justice Department.

While a senior aide to Representative Devin Nunes, who was the chairman of the Intelligence Committee when Republicans controlled the House, Patel worked to raise questions credibility of the allegations against Trump of colluding with Russians that led to the protracted inquiry by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

He was the principal author of a memo issued by Nunes that accused Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department of bias against Trump and of abusing laws to get warrants to conduct surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page.

Patel was a public defender -- a government-paid lawyer to represent those who could not afford an advocate -- before he joined the Justice Department in 2014. From there he went on to the House Intelligence Committee.

While working as a counter-terrorism prosecutor for the department, he caused a flutter when a federal judge in Houston admonished him for not wearing a suit and tie and used expletives for him and other officials.

Aug 2019

Sikh priest at gurdwara in Central California assaulted in apparent hate crime

An intruder at the Sikh gurdwara in Hughson, CA, broke windows at the priest’s home on temple grounds, punched the priest, shouted obscenities and told him to go back to his own country before fleeing, according to the priest and others associated with temple.

Amarjit Singh, 60, with the help of temple members who translated some of his comments, said he was in his bedroom about 9:30 pm when the glass in two-bedroom windows was broken. He said he lifted the blinds of one of the windows to look out and was punched in the neck before his attacker, who he said was wearing a mask, fled.

The alleged attacker, yelled at Singh, “it is country, country, country, go back, go back, country.” He also yelled obscenities at him and had something in his hand to break the windows. Singh assumes the intruder ran off in the temple’s nearby overflow, dirt parking lot. He could not see the suspect in the dark.

The temple has an armed security guard each Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The gates to the building are usually locked each night by 9, but the attack occurred at the priest’s home, which is across the parking lot from the temple.

Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirkse was quoted as saying in newsreports that the investigation was active and ongoing. No suspect is in custody as yet, he said.

“We are certainly looking at the angle of a hate crime, but at this point, it’s inconclusive,” said Dirkse, noting that — to prove a hate crime — investigators must look at the ideological slant of a suspect, and statements that may or may not have been made, among other factors.

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