For the past several months, we have been watching Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s IT scandal with former staffer Imran Awan, who has now been indicted on four counts of bank fraud and conspiracy.
Awan has been sending money overseas for a long time, and is suspected of defrauding the the Congressional Federal Credit Union with that money; amid that, the worst part of it is the fact that he had access to House IT servers when he was forbidden from such access.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz herself is now implicated in this scandal herself, as she kept Awan on the payroll despite the fact that he was under investigation by Capitol Police. The legal net is closing around her.
But as the investigation into the bank fraud and conspiracy continues, it just gets worse as time progresses. One Congressman on the House’s Homeland Security Commitee, and subcommittee on cybersecurity, stated that this IT scandal represents a serious national security threat.
Fox News reports that Scott Perry (R. PA) made the statement during an informal hearing from other Republican lawmakers on Tuesday. He discussed the facts of the case revealing massive data transfers on government servers by Awan.
“These facts, standing alone, indicate a substantial security threat.”
Perry, a member of the Homeland Security subcommittee on cyber security, said Tuesday that the House Office of Inspector General tracked the network usage of Awan and his associates on House servers and found that a “massive” amount of data was flowing from the networks.
Awan and other IT aides for House Democrats had been on investigators’ radar for months over concerns of possible double-billing, alleged equipment theft and access to sensitive computer systems. Most lawmakers fired Awan in February, but Wasserman Schultz had kept him on until his arrest in July.
According to Perry, more than 5,700 logins by the five Awan associates were discovered on a single server within the House and 5,400 of those logins appeared unauthorized. That server, Perry said, belonged to then-Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra, who is now attorney general in California.
Last year, Capitol Police began in investigation into Awan after an Inspector General report on his activities. He was ordered to send images of his logins to Capitol Police, but he falsified those images in order to cover up illicit access he had. Police had also recovered a laptop Awan possessed that had DWS’ initials on it.
He was barred from the House IT network, but Wasserman Schultz still kept him on the House payroll. That fact has prompted increased scrutiny on her office.
In a recent interview published in the Sun Sentinel, Wasserman Schultz blamed the “right-wing media circus fringe” for the attention on Awan. The former head of the Democratic National Committee has suggested it’s all part of an effort to distract from the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign and possible ties to President Trump’s team.
After Awan was arrested at Dulles airport in Virginia trying to board a plane to Pakistan, attorney Christopher Gowen told Fox News that federal authorities have no evidence of misconduct by Awan relating to his IT duties.
Something rather fishy is going on here. Not that Wasserman Schultz is necessarily engaging in a scheme to undermine U.S. national security, but for whatever reason she thought it was just a fine and dandy idea to keep him on the staff and payroll in spite of the criminal investigation.
As the investigation into this IT scandal continues, I anticipate that the former DNC chair herself may be subject to a probe herself.