An anti-corruption watchdog group has written to the Office of Congressional Ethics to ask for Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to be investigated after it was revealed that she had continued employing IT aide Imran Awan although she was aware that he was being probed for “wide-range equipment and data theft.”
In its letter to the Ethics Office, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) writes that “It appears that Representative Wasserman-Schultz permitted an employee to remain on the House payroll in violation of House Ethics Rules.” The missive also emphasizes that “After Awan was barred from accessing the House computer system, Wasserman Schultz continued to pay Awan with taxpayer funds for IT consulting — a position that he could not reasonably be able to perform.”
The IT aide, who has worked for more than 30 Democratic congressmen and women (some reports put that figure at around 80), was arrested for bank fraud Monday night at Dulles International Airport some 30 miles from Washington as he was attempting to leave the country. Him and his wife, Hina Alvi, are both believed to have acted improperly in connection with a $165,000 loan from the congressional Federal Credit Union.
Imran Awan is also accused of stealing IT equipment from Congress, double-billing various representatives, as well as blackmailing them.
Wasserman-Schultz stalled and obstructed the analysis of her laptop until two weeks ago, when she finally agreed to allow Capitol Police to scan it. Last week, Scoop reported that the FBI was examining a number of smashed hard drives which had been recovered from one of Awan’s properties.
The Florida representative had to step down as Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair in July last year after WikiLeaks published documents showing that she had rigged the Democratic primary election in favor of Clinton.
Scoop reported on Monday that Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer who was murdered on July 10, 2016 was believed to have given Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya stolen DNC emails a month prior to his death.
We still don’t know what Awan managed to steal from Democratic networks. What we do know, however, is that following a six-month investigation neither Awan or any of his family members have been charged for the alleged offenses.
Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel echoed FACT’s request and said she believed that Wasserman-Schultz ought to actually testify.
“If I had a staff member, an IT staff member, who had access to all of our data and all of our infrastructure and he had come under investigation […] you better believe I would be cooperating,” she said on Monday.Share