Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been riding a thin line of legality these last few months, as a cybersecurity investigation surrounds her. Now, we have learned that the man at the center of the scandal (and her former IT guy), Imran Awan, likely left evidence for capitol police to find that directly links Wasserman Schultz to possible crimes.
As we all now know, Awan is facing bank fraud charges, and is under investigation for possible cybersecurity crimes. He served as the head IT staffer for Wasserman Schultz, as well as a number of members of Congress, potentially putting the cybersecurity of members of Congress at risk.
Since the scandal broke earlier this year, it now appears Wasserman Schultz may have tried to cover up evidence in the case and impede the investigation. In particular, she tried to keep a laptop with potential evidence out of the hands of capitol police.
It now appears that Awan planted the laptop with evidence implicating Wasserman Schultz inside a capitol building. He also left evidence that he was the one behind it. Some may question why he would include himself with implicating evidence, but one could reason that Awan, knowing he was under suspicion by authorities, decided to bring his boss down with him, and expose her crimes as well. He could even have been considering turning on her in hopes of a plea deal.
That doesn’t mean Awan planned to face the music. He was arrested by the FBI at the Washington DC airport trying to flee the country to his native Pakistan.
The Daily Caller’s Investigative team has led the charge into uncovering the truth about the scandal. What they found shows Awan almost certainly planned to expose Wasserman Schultz’s criminal actions as well.
U.S. Capitol Police found the laptop after midnight April 6, 2017, in a tiny room that formerly served as a phone booth in the Rayburn House Office Building, according to a Capitol Police report reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group. Alongside the laptop were a Pakistani ID card, copies of Awan’s driver’s license and congressional ID badge, and letters to the U.S. attorney. Police also found notes in a composition notebook marked “attorney-client privilege.”
The laptop had the username “RepDWS,” even though the Florida Democrat and former Democratic National Committee chairman previously said it was Awan’s computer and that she had never even seen it.
Awan was banned Feb. 2, 2017, from the congressional computer network because he is a suspect in a cybersecurity investigation, but he still had access to House facilities because Debbie Wasserman Schultz continued to employ him.
The laptop was found on the second floor of the Rayburn building — a place Awan would have had no reason to go because Wasserman Schultz’s office is in the Longworth building and the other members who employed him had fired him.
Wasserman Schultz used a televised May 18, 2017 congressional hearing on the Capitol Police budget to threaten “consequences” if Chief Matthew Verderosa did not give her the laptop. “If a member loses equipment,” it should be given back, she said.
Verderosa told her the laptop couldn’t be returned because it was tied to a criminal suspect. Debbie Wasserman Schultz reiterated that, while Awan was a suspect, the computer should be returned because it is “a member’s … if the member is not under investigation.”
She changed her story two months later, claiming it was Awan’s laptop — bought with taxpayer funds from her office — and she had never seen it. She said she only sought to protect Awan’s rights. “This was not my laptop,” she said August 3. “I have never seen that laptop. I don’t know what’s on the laptop.”
Leaving important items there accidentally would seem extremely unlikely, according to Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, 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,” Gohmert told TheDCNF. “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.”