As Twitchy reported, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s former IT staffer and his wife were indicted by a grand jury recently on counts of bank fraud and making false statements. The two were arrested at Dulles International Airport in July as they were preparing to fly to Pakistan after wiring $283,000 from the Congressional Federal Credit Union to that country.
Just days before they were nabbed, the Daily Caller reported that the FBI had seized smashed hard drives from Awan’s home.
Many wondered why Wasserman Schultz had kept Awan, who had access to all emails and files of dozens of members of Congress, on the payroll even after a criminal investigation into his activities was made public. Wasserman Schultz answered that question Tuesday, as reported in the Sun Sentinel.
— Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) August 22, 2017
— Broward Politics (@browardpolitics) August 22, 2017
Anthony Man reports that Wasserman Schultz was concerned not only about due process, but also about possible racial profiling.
“He’s not my staffer. He no longer works for me. And when he was arrested, I terminated him,” she said. “I kept him on the payroll during the time that he was not arrested and not charged with anything. And that was because, as I said, that I was concerned about the violation of his due process rights and also that there were racial and ethnic profiling concerns as well.”
Awan is a Pakistani-born Muslim who is now a U.S. citizen. Wasserman Schultz said his religious faith may have been a factor in the decision to investigate Awan and his relatives.
Way to throw the investigators under the bus; they’ll certainly appreciate being accused of letting religious bigotry drive their investigation.
Man adds that, according to the indictment, the $283,000 was wired to Pakistan in January for “funeral arrangements.” After someone at the credit union wondered just how big a funeral Awan was planning, Awan changed his reason to “purchasing property.”
Anyone who’d like to know more about that indictment is strongly advised to check out the following piece by National Review’s Andrew McCarthy.
— Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) August 21, 2017
Here’s a taster from McCarthy’s piece suggesting another reason besides fear of racial profiling that might explain why Wasserman Schultz kept Awan on the payroll:
There are grounds to suspect blackmail, given (a) the staggering sums of money paid to the Awans over the years, (b) the sensitive congressional communications to which they had access, (c) the alleged involvement of Imran Awan and one of his brothers in a blackmail-extortion scheme against their stepmother, and (d) Wasserman Schultz’s months of protecting Awan and potentially impeding the investigation. There are also, of course, questions about stolen information. And there is, in addition, the question I raised a month ago: Why did the FBI and the Capitol Police allow Hina Alvi to leave the country on March 5 when there were grounds to arrest her at Dulles Airport? Why did they wait to charge her until last week — by which time she was safely in Pakistan, from which it will likely be impossible to extradite her for prosecution?
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WaPo story about IT staffer nabbed trying to flee country includes Debbie Wasserman Schultz cameo https://t.co/AUj3rLqzF9
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) July 27, 2017