A Pakistani family employed as IT administrators for House Democrats is under investigation for abusing access to the House’s IT system.
Imran Awan, his wife Hina, and brothers Jamal and Abid collectively earned more than $4 million working as IT admins for House Democrats between 2009 and 2017. The family displayed virtually no sign of its wealth, however, which leads one to wonder what they did with all that money.
The family’s access to the House IT system was revoked earlier this year after officials discovered a major data breach. Two of them were fired this week.
Imran was banned from the House network in February on suspicion of theft and data breaches. He is now working in an “advisory role” for Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former DNC chairwoman who was forced to resign after an email hack exposed her clear bias against Bernie Sanders (and for Hillary Clinton).
House Democrats have all but shrugged off the incident, dismissing it as a misunderstanding and accusing Capitol Police of Islamaphobia.
“As of right now, I don’t see a smoking gun,” says Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY). “I have seen no evidence that they were doing anything that was nefarious…I wanted to be sure individuals are not being singled out because of their nationalities or their religion. We want to make sure everybody is entitled to due process.”
Meanwhile, Wasserman Schultz has threatened the chief of the US Capitol Police with “consequences” if he does not return equipment currently being held as part of the investigation. “My understanding is that the Capitol Police is not able to confiscate members’ equipment when the member is not under investigation,” she complained.
Both Meeks and Wasserman Schultz are said to have a friendly relationship with the Awan family.
The Awans have been accused of reading lawmakers’ emails, stealing equipment, and placing “ghost employees” on the congressional payroll. Official documents, interviews, and court records obtained during the months-long investigation suggest the family may have been involved in:
• Tax fraud
• Bankruptcy fraud
• Insurance fraud
The family owns several rental properties in Virginia. Current and former tenants who were interviewed said they had been required to pay rent in cash or other untraceable ways.
“I would write the rent to all sorts of different people,” said a former tenant who asked to remain anonymous.
Despite the evidence, there have been no charges. Congressional aides believe the Awans could be blackmailing their former employees.
As reported by The Daily Caller:
“Five Capitol Hill technology aides told The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group that members of Congress have displayed an inexplicable and intense loyalty towards the suspects who police say victimized them. The baffled aids wonder if the suspects are blackmailing representatives based on the contents of their emails and files, to which they had full access.”
“I love the Hill but to see this clear lack of concern over what appears to be a major breach bothers me,” says Pat Sowers, who has spent 12 years managing IT for House offices. “Everyone has said for years they were breaking the rules, but it’s just been a matter of time.”
The Awans have chosen James Bacon to represent them in court. Bacon is a high-profile attorney who specializes in anti-money laundering litigation.
Editor’s note: We have emphasized many times that the Russians are not the only hackers. The lack of security on the part of the Democrats really is astounding.