by WorldTribune Staff, May 30, 2018
Capitol Police provided evidence in the House IT scandal to Imran Awan’s defense attorneys instead of prosecutors, apparently by accident, a report said.
“The cop came to [Awan’s defense attorney] Chris Gowen’s office with a stack of papers … Then he came back and said, ‘I thought you guys were the other party.’ He was very, very angry. But Gowen made copies,” the source familiar with the case told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Awan, three relatives and a friend ran IT for numerous House Democrats, including former DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and were able read all of the lawmakers’ emails and files until they were banned on Feb. 2, 2017, for “numerous violations of House security policies.”
The Daily Caller noted that the violations alleged by the House Office of Inspector General “include logging into the House Democratic Caucus server thousands of times without authorization. This allegedly occurred during the same period in 2016 the DNC was hacked.”
Related: Meanwhile, where is Imran Awan and the DNC server?, May 22
Prosecutor Michael Marando alluded to the disclosure of evidence in court on Oct. 6, 2017.
“Earlier this week, there was the inadvertent disclosure of law enforcement materials to defense counsel,” Marando told the judge. “There may be a motion on that.”
Gowen said the evidence inadvertently disclosed to his office was a copy of a laptop Awan’s former tenant, Laurel Everly, turned in to the Capitol Police in hopes of seeing whether Awan had hacked her. Everly previously complained of her landlord’s allegedly suspicious behavior and called him an “extortionist.”
“I was told there was nothing on it and was a giant waste of time, and the laptop was returned,” Gowen told the Daily Caller.
Chris Farrell, director of investigations for government watchdog group Judicial Watch, said the disclosures are “disgraceful and amateurish. What were the consequences for this misconduct? Who was disciplined or fired?”
Capitol Police’s role appears to be “to bury, constrain and minimize the Awan case” and points to the need for “a legitimate, full investigation by a competent law enforcement agency,” Farrell said.
The House’s Inspector General found that the Awans made “unauthorized access” to House servers, were taking data off the House network and were covering their tracks, the Daily Caller report said.
The investigation now is under the purview of prosecutors, the FBI and Capitol Police, the Daily Caller noted, adding that “more than a year later, no one has been charged with anything in the IG reports.”
A senior Republican congressional official with direct knowledge of the investigation told the Daily Caller: “The only reason you’re not seeing charges is because the Democrats who employed him are not cooperating.”
Farrell said “This matter is too serious to be left to political operatives.”
Prosecutors said in court documents filed on May 3 that the “parties are currently exploring a possible resolution of” the criminal charges against Imran Awan.