Then she caught fire when she kept IT aide Imran Awan on her payroll even after the FBI placed him under an investigation for stealing equipment and breaching the House IT system. She didn’t fire him until officials arrested him on bank fraud charges.
Now her party wants nothing to do with her. Some members spoke to Politico and put their names on their statements.
Politico contacted other people, but noticed the responses showed that “Wasserman Schultz has become such a polarizing figure in her own party.” A lot of her former allies had a hard time saying “and kind words about her or explain how and why she got into this latest jam.” Politico continued:
“We wish she would go away and stop being so public by doubling down on negative stories,” said Nikki Barnes, a progressive DNC member from Florida, who believes Wasserman Schultz left the national party “in shambles” while chair, culminating with the hack of DNC servers and the release of embarrassing internal emails by WikiLeaks in the 2016 campaign. As for Wasserman Schultz’s defense, Barnes said “none of this makes sense. It doesn’t sound like racial profiling … there must have been something for her.”
To Democrats like the DNC’s Barnes, it’s a distraction the party can ill afford.
“Everything that’s going on right now is taking away from what success we’re seeing in the grass-roots movement. No one’s talking about the people’s platform or hearing our good news because the headlines are focused on Debbie, her misplaced laptop and consequences,” Barnes said.
Barnes insisted to Politico that this scandal harms the Democratic Party even more, which is what they don’t need right now. After failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lost in November, the party spun into complete chaos.
“This adds to Debbie being rebranded as the Democrats’ disastrous destruction,” Barnes said. “Those of us on the DNC know we have to rebrand ourselves and earn the people’s trust. And unfortunately Debbie’s name does not scream trust. It screams power. It screams limited access. It screams WikiLeaks now. DNC lawsuit. It screams a lot of negative things to the public. That’s not how we want to rebrand ourselves.”
The former mayor of Minneapolis agreed:
“Debbie Wasserman Schultz is still a national figure, but unfortunately for her it’s because so many people around the country see her as playing a devastatingly bad role in the last election,” said R.T. Rybak, the former mayor of Minneapolis and former DNC vice -chair who clashed with Wasserman Schultz. “I can mention her name in Minneapolis and it gets a viscerally negative reaction, and I’ve found that to be the case in other parts of the country, too. Sadly, I think she deserves the negative reputation.”
People saw her change when she became chairwoman because the “power went to her head” and all the “mounting criticism then made her paranoid.”
Things got bad in Florida when “she picked an explosive fight with top Democratic donor and trial lawyer John Morgan after she trashed his popular medical-marijuana initiative, seemingly without cause.” He retorted:
“In politics, you’re as strong as your friends. And she doesn’t have as many as she used to. And that’s her fault,” Morgan said.
Those on Capital Hill Just as Frustrated
Last week, I blogged how people in Congress have started to pressure Wasserman Schultz to testify why she kept Awan employed even after the FBI started its investigation.
Sources told The Washington Free Beacon that her “refusal to answer questions” and continual payment to Awan “may merit her resignation.” Congressional leaders have even asked the Capital Police for an a formal briefing into its investigation:
Leading members of Congress are growing frustrated with the pace of the criminal investigation and have moved to conduct their own independent probe into the scandal, according to multiple sources who indicated that the relevant congressional committees are making moves to start an investigation, which could include compelling testimony from Wasserman Schultz, who has been accused of stonewalling on the issue.
As more information about the nature and scope of the IT staffers’ collection of privileged congressional information becomes public, lawmakers are seeking to immediately begin their own investigation into the situation.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), a member of the House Oversight Committee and chair of its National Security Subcommittee, formally requested a briefing from the Capitol Police on Tuesday, telling the Free Beacon that the situation amounts to “one of the all-time congressional scandals in the last 30 years.”
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