Kash Patel, former chief of staff at the Pentagon and former deputy director of National Intelligence, is suing the Department of Defense (DOD) for “obstructing and infringing” on his right to publish unclassified information in his upcoming book,” according to a complaint exclusively obtained by Breitbart News.
In Government Gangsters: The Deep State, the Truth, and the Battle for Our Democracy, Patel highlights his firsthand knowledge to pull back “the curtain on the Deep State, revealing the major players and tactics within the permanent government bureaucracy.”
Patel is suing the DOD for unlawfully imposing a prior restraint on the publication of his book.
The three-count lawsuit accuses the DOD of infringing on his First Amendment right to publish his book, unreasonably delaying formal completion of the classification review, and asks the court to allow his legal counsel to access any alleged classified information the DOD claims is within the book.
Patel told Breitbart News that in his experience as DOD chief of staff, the review process for books typically takes three months. However, Patel provided his manuscript to the Defense Office of Prepublication and Security Review (DOPSR) in October and they have yet to complete its review.
When Patel asked for a status update in December, a DOPSR official told him the office had no record of the manuscript, the complaint alleges.
Since providing the DOPSR with his manuscript on October 11, Patel has contacted the DOPSR eight times for status updates, to no avail.
Patel noted that former National Security Adviser John Bolton published classified info in his memoir but did not face criminal prosecution by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“And remember, Bolton just released his book and released classified information, DOJ didn’t prosecute him. I’m not worried about classified information. That’s the point my attorney was making because I know not to put that out there,” Patel told Breitbart News. “They have admitted in writing, that they’re going to censor the book and nonclassified information, which is illegal.”
Patel said he is a “target” of the DOD, which explains why they are delaying the review and ultimate release of his book.
“But if I just released it, they’ll come after me. You know, I’m a target. They just let Bolton off. And anybody else, [former Defense Secretary Mark] Asper, [former State Secretary Mike] Pompeo can do what they want,” he said.
Patel said he and his lawyers had given the DOD “every out” before filing this lawsuit, which he hopes will pressure the DOPSR to complete its review process.
He told Breitbart News the DOD sent his book to nine different agencies, which is “unheard of” because “the law requires you to submit it to your last station of service,” which would be the DOD in Patel’s case.
“I would love to win the lawsuit outright, but that would take time. And we could have filed a lawsuit on day one, but we’re like, alright, we’ll respect the process,” Patel told Breitbart News. “I used to be there and get it, right? Three months, four months, five months. What’s going on? Nothing.”
“It seems the Biden administration has made a policy out of punishing either whistleblowers or anyone who wants to expose waste, fraud, and abuse,” Patel said about the DOPSR’s delay.
“I’ve discussed when I encountered, corruption and unlawful activity from government officials and I laid it out for Americans to read because I think they are entitled to that,” Patel said. “And they’re practicing the same retaliation policies they said they never would, like burying my manuscripts.”
Patel’s lawsuit against the DOD will be filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Government Gangsters: The Deep State, the Truth, and the Battle for Our Democracy is available for preorder.
Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.