A criminal case around a Pakistani information technology worker tied to former Democratic Party leader, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), is expanding into a case of corruption that may involve Democrat officials, fraud, and blackmail, and other potential crimes.
During an Oct. 10 meeting between experts on the case and four congressional House members, which was live streamed, Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) explained some of the history of the case, noting that some parts still don’t fit together. “The problem is a proper investigation into the series of events doesn’t seem to be taking place,” he said. “I think many Americans feel the same way.”
In 2016, the Inspector General of the House (OIG) tracked the network usage of the information technology worker, Imran Awan, and his associates, “and found that a massive amount of data was flowing from the networks,” Perry said.
“Over 5,700 logins by the five Awan associates were discovered on a single server within the House,” said Perry, and that server belonged to then-Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra, who is now attorney general in California.
Of those logins, Perry said, “5,400 appear unauthorized.”
He cited reports saying that Attorney General Becerra’s server “was actually housing the entirety of the servers of all the member offices that employed Amran or his associates. All of it. The entirety.”
Perry added, “It’s a clear violation of House policy.”
This would also mean, he notes, that “up to 40 or more members of Congress had all of their data moved out of their office server or out of their cloud storage system and onto the Bacerra server without their knowledge or consent.”
The Daily Caller reported in September that Congressional technology aides feared that someone was using the data on Congressmembers for blackmail. It quoted Pat Sowers, who has managed IT for several House offices for 12 years, stating, “I don’t know what they have, but they have something on someone. It’s been months at this point,” and there had not yet been any arrests.
In late September and early October of 2016, the House OIG reported its findings to the Speaker’s office, to Democratic leadership, to the Committee on House Administration, and to the House Sergeant at Arms and Capitol Police.
The Capitol Police then began a criminal investigation into Imran Awan and his associates. Perry said Capitol Police required Awan to provide them with a copy of the Bacerra server, and determined he provided them with a falsified image, “likely with deliberate attempt to conceal the activities that they knew were against House policy and the law.”
“These facts, standing alone, indicate a substantial security threat—at the least—but the events don’t end there,” Perry said.
Then the case got even more strange.
At midnight on April 6, a laptop and bag were found in a phone booth in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, and Capitol Police found its contents were linked to Awan and other U.S. officials.
Perry cited the police report, stating the bag contained a Pakistani ID card with the name Mohammad Ashraf Awan, a copy of a drivers license with the name Imran Awan, and a copy of the front and back of Awan’s Congressional ID card.
The Apple laptop, meanwhile, had the homescreen initials of “Rep DWS,” which led some to believe it was tied to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. A video was released in May of Wasserman Schultz threatening the Chief of Police that there would be “consequences” if he didn’t hand over the laptop.
Perry noted that “despite the threat of consequences to the police chief,” the police did not return the equipment and “the police continued their investigation of the computer.” He added that “Rep. Wasserman Schultz has hired an attorney to represent her interests in the matter.”
In addition to the laptop and the ID information, the recovered bag also contained, according to Perry, handwritten notes saying “Attorney Klein privilege” and “possibly discussing case details,” as well as loose letters “addressed to the U.S. Attorney of DC, the District of Columbia, discussing the apparent owner of the bag being investigated.”
Perry noted that the bag was recovered after Awan was banned from accessing the House information technology network, “but not before he was ultimately fired from Rep. Wasserman Schultz.”
Capitol Police, he notes, banned Imran Awan and his associates from the network on Feb. 2, and “when the investigation started, Wasserman Schultz then fired Irwan on July 25 after learning about his arrest.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) noted during the Oct. 10 hearing that Imran Awan “is now under indictment for a bank fraud case,” but noted he and his associates are concerned that other crimes may have been committed.
Imran Awan and his wife Hina Alvi Awan were indicted on Aug. 17 on four counts that are largely unrelated to the information technology scandal. Their charges include bank fraud for trying to obtain home equity loans and transferring the money to Pakistan.