Everything Unraveling Around Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s IT Staffer Imran Awan
There are disturbing new developments in the case of a man who had access to the email and files of 45 members of Congress. Imran Awan is the former IT staffer to former DNC chair and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.
He, his wife and two brothers are under investigation by the FBI and D.C. Capitol Police. Prosecutors accuse them of stealing data, destroying government property and double billing for computer equipment. A grand jury already indicted Awan and his wife on charges of bank fraud.
Awan Saved House Data on His Own Secret Server
The House banned Awan along with the others from its network in February. New information has come out indicating why. In addition to the accusations mentioned previously, he allegedly transferred data from House Democrats to his own private, secret server.
According to The Daily Caller, police grew suspicious and asked him for the server. He gave them an “elaborate falsified image designed to hide the massive violations.” A senior House official told the site that the false server prompted the House Sergeant-at-Arms to ban him from the House network on February 2. Awan also backed up large quantities of data to Dropbox, even though congressional policies prohibit members and staff from using Dropbox.
Although other House members fired Awan after the infraction, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz kept him on her staff until his arrest in July while trying to flee the country.
The unnamed House official told The Daily Caller that Awan has “not yet been charged with criminal cybersecurity violations partly because some of the 45 Democrats have been passive about helping build the case.”
None of the House Democrats affected by the improper access have spoken publicly about it. The unnamed House official told The Daily Caller that Awan has “not yet been charged with criminal cybersecurity violations partly because some of the 45 Democrats have been passive about helping build the case.”
They may not be speaking because they are afraid of retaliation by Awan. They may worry that he could go public with their files or turn them over to the prosecution in exchange for leniency.
Awan and His Wife Admit Guilt by Paying Back Loans
Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, were indicted on charges related to fraudulently obtaining loans and illegally attempting to transfer the money to accounts in their native Pakistan. They were only eligible for the home equity loans by falsely telling the bank the properties were their primary and secondary homes.
They were actually rental properties. Awan’s attorney Chris Gowen said on September 11 that the couple has now paid back the loans.
Laptop Found, Strangely, in a House Phone Booth
D.C. Capitol Police seized Awan’s laptop during the investigation. Wasserman Schultz angrily told police that there would be consequences if the laptop weren’t returned. The filmed confrontation last May went viral. She referred to the laptop as “a member’s laptop,” implying that it was her’s. Two months later she denied it was hers. “This was not my laptop. I have never seen that laptop. I don’t know what’s on the laptop.”
It came out earlier this month how police obtained the laptop. It was left in a House phone booth, alongside a copy of Awan’s ID, a notebook marked attorney-client privilege, and letters to the U.S. Attorney. The letters requested treatment of the laptop as evidence, not as simply a lost-and-found piece of property.
The login was “RepDWS,” suggesting it belonged to Wasserman Schultz, not Awan. Security discovered it on the second floor of the Rayburn building. Awan had no reason to be there, since by then he was no longer working for other House members. Wasserman Schultz’s office is in the Longworth building.
Awan may be throwing Wasserman Schultz under the bus, perhaps in exchange for immunity or a plea deal.
This aroused suspicion that Awan may be throwing Wasserman Schultz under the bus, perhaps in exchange for immunity or a plea deal. Prosecutors gave a copy of the laptop to him.
An Insider Threat
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told The Daily Caller he suspects Awan is turning on Wasserman Schultz. (Gohmert is a former prosecutor and member of the House Judiciary Committee.)
“Imran Awan is a calculating person who made great efforts to cover his tracks, both electronically and physically,” he said. “Placing that laptop with his personal documents, which may well incriminate him, those he worked for, or both, in the dead of night in a House office building, was a deliberate act by a cunning suspect, and it needs to be investigated.”
Awan’s access to the House network was terminated in February. But The Daily Caller reported in August that he still had access to the address firstname.lastname@example.org. His main email address, email@example.com, started rejecting emails after it was shut down. The other address continued to receive them.
Gowen claims that the Awans have done nothing wrong, and are victims of “made up stories by right-wing reporters and bloggers.” However, a senior unnamed House official disagrees. The source told The Daily Caller, “Imran Awan is the walking example of an insider threat, a criminal actor who had access to everything.”
Awan had access to Wasserman Schultz’s laptop and password. He could have downloaded her DNC emails and leaked them to WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said an insider gave WikiLeaks the DNC emails, not a Russian hacker.
Awan has a court hearing set for October 6. Alvi could face an arraignment on the same day. She cut a deal with prosecutors and will return to the U.S. at the end of this month to face charges.
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