The congresswoman remains fiercely protective of the aides.
The Daily Caller reported that the FBI has taken the smashed hard drives from the home of Pakistani-born Imran Awan, a former IT aide that worked for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). The Capitol Police took “computer equipment tied to the Florida lawmaker.”
A source told The Daily Caller “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 Awan, his wife Hina Alvi, and his brothers Abid and Jamal.
Officials suspect these four people “accessing members’ computer networks without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress.”
Soon after the investigation started , Hina took their daughters and moved to Pakistan. The Daily Caller found that she listed her house “and an apartment she owns for sale.”
A Marine Corps veteran and his Navy Officer wife now live in the house in Lorton, VA. The veteran discovered “wireless routers, hard drives that look like they tried to destroy, laptops, [and] a lot of brand new expensive toner.” The Daily Caller continued:
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.
“It was in the garage. They recycled cabinets and lined them along the walls. They left in a huge hurry,” the Marine said. “It looks like government-issued equipment. We turned that stuff over.”
Then Imran found out and became angry when he couldn’t get back his equipment:
The Marine said Imran wanted the hard drives back so desperately that he threatened to sue the renter for stealing them.
“It was unbelievable. I don’t know where they get off thinking they’re going to sue us for items we have no obligation to hold onto,” he said.
Imran came to the house for the items “three to four times,” but the Marine wouldn’t let him enter.
“Their lawyer contacted us today via email and said we owed $350 in late charges and the items he left in the house,” the Marine said.
He noticed bizarre behavior from Imran, but it did not click until he learned about the investigation:
“When we first moved in, a mailman came with certified mail from the House of Representatives. We were trying to be nice and signed for it. They lost their shit, saying ‘why did you sign for it, this is illegal!’ It was certified from the [Chief Administrative Officer of the House],” he said.
“The postman came a second time with a certified letter and I called Imran on the spot, asking ‘what do you want me to do.’ He said ‘just send him away, I’m homeless.’ They refused to forward their mail.”
Imran’s brother Abid has also been evasive about his location, failing to provide an accurate address for delivery of court materials in a lawsuit in which he is accused of defrauding the brothers’ stepmother. Imran’s wife, Hina, has traveled to Pakistan since the probe was revealed, according to neighbors.
Wasserman Schultz will not fire Imran even though the authorities are investigating him. She has also demanded the Capitol Police return a laptop they seized after they found it “hidden in a vacant office.”
At a budget meeting, she threatened the Capitol Police will face “consequences” if they do not return the laptop:
“My understanding is the the Capitol Police is not able to confiscate Members’ equipment when the Member is not under investigation,” Wasserman Schultz said in the annual police budget hearing of the House Committee On Appropriations’ Legislative Branch Subcommittee.
“We can’t return the equipment,” Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa told the Florida Democrat.
“I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way and you should expect that there will be consequences,” Wasserman Schultz said.
Wasserman Schultz has done what she can to protect Imran and even changed his title from technology administrator to advisor. One Democratic IT staffer cannot understand why the congresswoman is behaving this way:
That baffled a Democratic IT staffer, who said “I can’t imagine why she’d be that good of friends with a technology provider.”
“Usually if someone does bad stuff, an office is going to distance themselves” rather than incur political fallout for a mere staffer, he added.
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