Could the Awan-Schultz Scandal Bring Down the Democratic Party?
By Edward Szall
July 29, 2017
(VERO BEACH, FL) In what is quickly shaping up to become the biggest scandal for the Democratic Party since Hillary Clinton’s secret server and WikiLeaks’ release of the emails from John Podesta and the DNC, the investigation into the former DNC chairwomen’s IT workers may be the scandal that breaks the donkey’s back.
Six individuals of Pakistani origin; three brothers named Imran, Jamal, and Abid Awan; two of their wives Hina Alvi (Imran) and Natalia Sova (Abid); and Rao Abbas (Imran’s best friend, and a former McDonald’s employee) were hired to provide IT services for 32 former and current democratic members of the House of Representatives between 2004 and 2016, and received approximately $4 million for their services. Only 5 of these 6 individuals are reportedly being investigated by local police and the FBI.
According to multiple sources who have spoken to the Daily Caller over the past year, both inside law enforcement and the IT offices of effected congress members, the Awan brothers removed hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment from congressional offices, including computers and servers, while also running a procurement scheme in which they bought equipment, then overcharged the House administrative office that assigns such contractors to members.
The Awan’s were involved in a score of business ventures in addition to their IT work, which included renting real estate. Upon learning he was under investigation by Capitol Police in February 2017, Imran Awan abruptly moved out of his home and rented it to a Marine Corps veteran married to a female Navy Officer.
After occupying the home and inspecting containers Imran Awan left behind on the property, the unnamed former Marine told The Daily Caller he found “wireless routers, hard drives that look like they tried to destroy, laptops, [and] a lot of brand new expensive toner.”
Realizing the electronics belonged to the U.S. government, the couple then called the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), prompting FBI agents and Capitol Police to arrive to interview them and confiscate the equipment.
Prior to calling NCIS, the former Marine told The Daily Caller that Imran Awan had aggressively pursued retrieving the equipment, showing up at the home at-least “three to four times,” and even threatening to sue the couple for theft of property.
After the material was confiscated, Rep. Wassermann Schultz used her position on a May 24th budget hearing to threaten the chief of Capitol Police, Matthew R. Verderosa, with “consequences” if a laptop included in the seized cache was not returned.
On Monday, a day after The Daily Caller published Investigative Journalist Luke Rosiak’s report detailing that Imran Awan had illegally stored smashed congressional hard drives in the garage of his rental property, the alleged ring leader was arrested and detained by the FBI after attempting to board a flight to Pakistan through Dulles International Airport in Virginia, which had a connection in Doha, Qatar, and a return scheduled six months later in January 2018.
According to the affidavit, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol found around $12,000 in cash and “household goods, clothing and food items” in Imran Awan’s possession.
Imran was charged with one count of bank fraud, and after pleading “not guilty” at his Tuesday arraignment, he was released from custody into a “high-intensity supervision program” with conditions which include 24/7 GPS monitoring, a nighttime curfew and a restriction to stay within a 50-mile radius of his home in Lorton, Virginia. Imran himself had previously told his tenants he was “homeless” and refused to have certified mail and congressional communications sent to the rental home routed to an alternate address.
On Wednesday night Rep. Wassermann Schultz released a statement announcing that Imran Awan, who had been serving in a part time paid-advisory role for the Congresswomen since losing his clearance to conduct congressional IT work in February, was no longer employed with her office. Rep. Wassermann Schultz did not comment however on whether she had planned to continue paying Imran Awan for his services had he successfully boarded the Monday flight to Pakistan.
“After details of the investigation were reviewed with us, my office was provided no evidence to indicate that laws had been broken, which over time, raised troubling concerns about due process, fair treatment and potential ethnic and religious profiling,” Rep. Wassermann Schultz said. “Upon learning of his arrest, he was terminated.”
Rep. Schultz resigned as DNC chief in July 2016 after the organization’s IT system was hacked, an act which has since been blamed on an anonymous figure named “Guccifer 2.0”.
National Security officials have alleged this figure, who hosted information from the DNC servers on a blog during the election, was backed by Russian intelligence, though forensic evidence appears to show that the original data was most likely physically copied locally by someone with access to a system connected to the DNC internal network based on the alleged speed of transfer…