The FBI is investigating the computer system administrator for Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. His crime may remind you of the computer crimes Hillary Clinton was accused of. The question is: Can Schultz and her associates avoid charges like Hillary did?
According to an exclusive report by The Daily Caller, the FBI is looking at Imran Awan, a Pakistani man who serves as the IT administrator for Rep. Schultz. His relatives are under investigation as well. According to the report, the FBI learned that Awan had destroyed hard drives that appear to be from Schultz’s congressional office computers. Not only is this against the law, it could signal an attempt at a coverup of impropriety by Schultz. That could include her time with the Democratic National Committee, where she served as chairwoman until last year.
Last summer, it was revealed that the DNC email server had been hacked. The release of emails from DNC members is currently under investigation, and after the destroyed hard drives were found in a home owned by Awan, the FBI may have a solid lead as to who hacked the DNC and how.
Some have speculated that the hard drives would implicate someone other than the Russians for the DNC hack. That would destroy the accusation that Russia hacked the DNC to help Donald Trump.
It also appears Awan may have committed some financial crimes, and yet, Schultz has refused to fire him. Awan, for his part, appears to have skipped town, and his whereabouts are unknown.
Awan and his relatives appear to have done computer work for a number of Democratic House members as well. While it is unclear how the destroyed hard drives tie in to the investigation, Awan desperately tried to get a hold of them before the FBI accessed them. Schultz has also tried to block FBI access to a personal laptop from her office they seized in one search of Awan’s property.
So, why exactly did Awan try to destroy hard drives? Was he hiding his own crimes, or did he do so at the direction of Schultz? If there is incriminating evidence tied to Schultz or the DNC on those drives, the FBI may be able to retrieve it, even if they were “destroyed.”
Perhaps more important, why is a man who travels extensively to Pakistan in charge of servers tied to House Democrats? Why was he not vetted?
The congressional source, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe, confirmed that the FBI has joined what Politico previously described as a Capitol Police criminal probe into “serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network” by Imran and three of his relatives, who had access to the emails and files of the more than two dozen House Democrats who employed them on a part-time basis.
There is also evidence of financial schemes that extend beyond the Capitol Police’s purview and may expand to Pakistan, where Imran spends significant portions of the year.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said in March that the Capitol Police are “getting the kind of technical assistance they need to do that. This is under an active criminal investigation, their capabilities are pretty strong but, they’re also able to go and get the kind of help they need from other sources.”
Soon after Imran began working for Wasserman Schultz in 2005, his two brothers and two of their wives — plus Abbas and another friend — began appearing as IT staffers on the payrolls of other House Democrats. Collectively, the Awan group has been paid $4 million since 2009.
Fellow IT staffers interviewed by The DCNF said the Awans were often absent from weekly meetings and email exchanges. One of the fellow staffers said some of the computers the Awans managed were being used to transfer data to an off-site server.
Shortly after the criminal probe was revealed in February, Imran abruptly moved out of his longtime home on Hawkshead Drive in Lorton, Va., and listed it for rent on a website that connects landlords with military families.
One of the new tenants — a Marine Corps veteran married to a female Navy Officer — said he found “wireless routers, hard drives that look like they tried to destroy, laptops, [and] a lot of brand new expensive toner.”
The tenants called the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and, not long after, FBI agents arrived together with the Capitol Police to interview them and confiscate the equipment. The Marine spoke on condition of anonymity because of concerns for his wife’s naval career, saying she doesn’t want to be associated with a national security incident.
Wasserman Schultz has demanded return of a laptop seized by the Capitol Police because it was purportedly used by Imran and was found hidden in a vacant office. The Florida Democrat used a Capitol Police budget hearing to threaten “consequences” for them if the laptop wasn’t returned.
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