Florida GOP Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s right-hand information technology (IT) aide was arrested attempting to leave the country just a few hours after The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group revealed that he is the target of an FBI investigation.
Imran Awan, a Pakistani-born IT aide, had access to all emails and files of dozens of members of Congress, as well as the password to the iPad that Wasserman Schultz used for Democratic National Committee business before she resigned as its head in July 2016. He was apprehended while attempting to flee the U.S., Fox News first reported.
Bill Miller, spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, told TheDCNF that Awan “was arraigned today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on one count of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344. He pled not guilty and was released pursuant to a high-intensity supervision program. The conditions of release are that he receive a GPS monitor, he abide by a curfew of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., and that he not leave a 50-mile radius of his residence in Virginia. Awan was also ordered to turn over all of his passports.”
Soon after Imran began working for Wasserman Schultz in 2005, four of his relatives appeared on the payroll of other Democrats — many from Wasserman Schultz’s home state of Florida — at inflated salaries, but Democratic staffers said they were rarely seen at work. They collected $4 million in total.
House authorities told members in February that Awan and his relatives were suspects in a criminal investigation into theft and IT abuses, and they were banned from the Capitol network.
Wasserman Schultz refused to fire Awan, despite being the suspect in a hacking probe, and has blocked Capitol Police from searching a laptop they confiscated because it was tied to Awan.
TheDCNF reported Sunday night that the FBI had joined the investigation and seized smashed hard drives from Awan’s home.
His stepmother filed court documents accusing him of wiretapping and extorting her (see p. 23 of court documents in that case), but Democratic members of Congress, including Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York, suggested that police had framed the Pakistani-born brothers out of Islamophobia.
Wasserman Schultz’s spokesman, David Damron, did not immediately return a request for comment.
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