Kashyap Pramod Patel, known as Kash Patel, who currently serves as the chief of staff to the acting secretary of defence Christopher Miller, was only installed in the Pentagon a couple of weeks ago after Donald Trump fired defence secretary Mark Esper and his chief of staff Jen Stewart resigned.
Before the announcement, a CNN report quoted top officials who believed Mr Patel is likely to come under scrutiny by many in the Pentagon watching to see how cooperative he may be with the Biden team in providing critical information.
Considered an ardent Trump supporter, the CNN report quoted sources who expected Mr Patel to work towards furthering Mr Trump’s political agenda as long as he remains in office.
Previously working as an aide to Representative Devin Nunes, Mr Patel was found to be involved in efforts to spread conspiracy theories about Joe Biden by the House impeachment inquiry.
He rose to prominence after playing a key role in Republican attempts to undermine the Russia investigation, writing a memo that accused law enforcement officials of abusing their power.
Before becoming Mr Miller’s chief of staff, Mr Patel served as senior director for counterterrorism for Mr Trump’s National Security Council. He also worked in the office of former acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell.
In itself, the appointment of Mr Patel to lead the transition at the Pentagon isn’t unusual. Chiefs of staff often take on the role – Jen Stewart was leading the start of the process under Mr Esper, according to US media reports.
And with the General Services Administration (GSA) finally acknowledging the election results and beginning the transition process, the roles have been confirmed and Trump officials are now directly in touch with the Biden team.
Apart from Mr Patel, Tom Muir, the director of Washington Headquarters Services, has taken on the role as director of the Defense Department transition task force. He told reporters he will be in charge of providing office space, communications and access to information for the incoming administration and he has already conducted a meeting with the Biden team.