Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ former IT staffer Imran Awan pleaded guilty to bank fraud charges Tuesday, striking a deal with federal prosecutors to avoid all potential crimes related to his work in the House of Representatives.
“Imran Awan, the former IT aide to congressional Democrats whose federal court case has drawn the interest of President Trump and other Republicans, pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal bank fraud in a plea deal with prosecutors, avoiding federal charges related to his work in Congress,” writes Fox News.
“During a hearing before U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in Washington, Awan pleaded guilty to making a false statement on a loan application. As part of the deal, the prosecution dropped fraud charges against his wife,” adds the report.
Awan made national headlines last year after he was apprehended while trying to flee the United States at a DC-area airport.
Despite being banned from the Capitol in February 2017, Rep. Schultz kept Awan on her payroll until his arrest that July.
Read the full report at Fox News.
BOMBSHELL: Schultz IT Aide May Have Sold State Secrets to Russia, Pakistan
Federal investigators are worried that the shady IT staffer at the center of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ widening scandal may have sold intelligence to foreign governments, particularly Russia and Pakistan, reports the New York Post.
According to officials, the government is currently probing whether Imran Awan, Schultz’ top computer technician, had access to sensitive emails and other communications and then sold that information to foreign intelligence agencies.
The investigation of Awan began in April of 2016, when Congressional staffers noticed several “irregularities” in the Capitol’s computer equipment and billing information. What began as a suspected case of fraud is now spiraling into a “massive scandal” according to one government aide.
Authorities now believe Awan had access to secret material, and moved that information from government-owned servers to private devices, possibly with the intent to distribute the classified information.
Imran Awan was arrested while trying to flee the country in late July after funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to his family in Pakistan. The shady IT staffer had been previously barred from the Capitol in February, but remained on Wasserman Schultz’ payroll until the time of his apprehension.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz stands by her decision to keep Awan as an employee, saying he was being persecuted because he is a Muslim.
“I believe that I did the right thing, and I would do it again,” Wasserman Schultz said in an interview with the Sun Sentinel. “There are times when you can’t be afraid to stand alone, and you have to stand up for what’s right.”
DEBBIE SPEAKS: DWS Makes First Public Comments as IT Scandal Heats Up
Debbie Wasserman Schultz spoke out for the first time Thursday over the widening scandal surrounding her shady IT staffer; standing by her decision to keep Imran Awan on her payroll and saying she has to “stand up for what’s right.”
Speaking with the Sun Sentinel, Schultz was defiant against her critics who are openly calling for a thorough investigation between Awan and the former chair of the Democratic National Committee.
“I believe that I did the right thing, and I would do it again,” Wasserman Schultz told the newspaper. “There are times when you can’t be afraid to stand alone, and you have to stand up for what’s right. It would have been easier for me to just fire him.”
Schultz defended her decision to keep Awan on her payroll, despite being barred from the Capitol for months, saying “there are plenty of technological issues that an IT person can assist with. He didn’t have access to the network, but he was able to give us guidance.”
The former DNC boss also commented on the heated exchange between her and the Chief of Capitol Hill Police earlier this year, where she openly threatened the top cop with “consequences” for withholding her private laptop; a computer she now claims was never hers.
“This was not my laptop. I have never seen that laptop. I don’t know what’s on the laptop,” she said.