Judicial Watch sues for records on overlooked House IT scandal

by WorldTribune Staff, November 9, 2018

A potentially devastating scandal involving a Pakistani IT aide for the former Democrat National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz  and more than 40 Democrat members of the House of Representatives was neutralized this summer by a plea deal that conservative critics call a cover up.

On June 7, President Donald Trump tweeted: “Our Justice Department must not let Awan & Debbie Wasserman Schultz off the hook. The Democrat I.T. scandal is a key to much of the corruption we see today. They want to make a “plea deal” to hide what is on their Server. Where is Server? Really bad!”

Imran Awand and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Now a government watchdog group has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice seeking all records of communications relating to the investigation into the House IT scandal involving Imran Awan and his family.

Judicial Watch said it is seeking “all records related to any investigations or preliminary investigations involving former congressional IT support staffers Abid Awan, Imran Awan, Jamal Awan, and Hina R. Alvi. As part of this request, searches should include, but not be limited to, the FBI automated indices, its older manual indices, and its Electronic Surveillance (ELSUR) Data Management System (EDMS), as well as cross-referenced files.”

Imran Awan and his family members was banned from the House computer network in February 2017 after the House Inspector General wrote that Imran is “an ongoing and serious risk to the House of Representatives, possibly threatening the integrity of our information systems,” and that a server containing evidence had gone “missing.” The inspector general said server logs showed “unauthorized access” and procurement records were falsified.

On Aug. 17, 2017, a federal grand jury, convened in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, indicted Awan and his wife on four counts, including conspiracy, making false statements, bank fraud, and unlawful monetary transactions.

Awan was allowed a plea deal on July 3, 2018. He pleaded guilty to federal bank fraud but prosecutors said they found no evidence that Awan “violated federal law with respect to the House computer systems.”

“It’s time for the full truth to come out about the House Democrat IT scandal, especially with impending change of power in the House,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “There is hope that the new leadership at the DOJ will bring transparency to this case, as well as many pending FOIA investigations.”

Related: Report: Imran Awan family used ‘fake’ to replace Democrats’ server which vanished, July 3, 2018

Imran Awan was Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s top information technology aide. Most lawmakers fired Awan, but Wasserman Schultz kept him on until he was arrested trying to board a flight for Pakistan.

“Just imagine what might come out if the 44 House members who’d employed Imran Awan or one of his associates had to testify in public hearings – something Republican House leadership opted not to have,” an American Spectator analysis said on Oct. 17.

“What might come out if a real investigation took place and if charges were filed for the computer equipment missing from congressional offices – some of which was found in at least one home Awan rented?  What if an ethics investigation did take place to find out why Wasserman Schultz kept paying Awan even after he’d been booted off the House network for giving false data (an image of a fake server) to Capitol Police?

On Oct. 11, 2017, Judicial Watch’s Fitton participated in a discussion between House members and analysts regarding the Wasserman Schultz/Awan Brothers/IT scandal. During this discussion, Fitton stated:

“Frankly when it comes to crimes with a political component, I fear the Justice Department is going to fear to tread. And because of the political nature of what went on (with the Awan family) they’re not going to push the House … and I fear that the Justice Department will be fearful of raising these issues with the House for fear of embarrassing the leadership of both parties … and that’s something we need to push the Justice Department on. That they don’t under-charge or under-investigate this for fear of the consequences that will happen if they push further and find something that no one wants to find, which is a national security threat at our breast here in the House.”

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