One Democratic leader in Congress has fought hard to dodge the media over a scandal that continues to stack up.
Congressman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s (D-FL) former IT employee, Imran Awan, was arrested on charges of bank fraud. She was caught by reporters walking out of the Capitol last week, but quickly turned around and ran back up the steps when she spotted them. Her spokesman had already told the Miami Herald that she would not be addressing questions about Awan. In fact, the only statements anyone has received from her are from her assigned spokesmen.
One such statement, made by Schultz spokesman David Damron, read: “Mr. Awan previously served as a part-time employee but his services have been terminated. No charges, evidence or findings from the investigation have been formally shared with our office, so we cannot comment on them.”
Another statement released by Shultz read: “After details of the investigation were reviewed with us, my office was provided no evidence to indicate that laws had been broken, which over time, raised troubling concerns about due process, fair treatment and potential ethnic and religious profiling. Upon learning of his arrest, he was terminated.”
However, for some reason Schultz kept the staffer in question on her payroll while undergoing his Capitol Hill investigation. She, in fact, didn’t take him off her payroll for several months while the investigation was going on.
The investigation was being allegedly conducted due to a discovered attempt to fraudulently obtain a home equity loan. He was also accused of leaking sensitive information and stealing equipment.
His wife, Hina Alvi, who was also employed by the U.S. House of Representatives, was also charged as a co-conspirator, but fled the U.S. for Pakistan with her children shortly after. U.S. Customs and border patrol reportedly found over $10,000 in cash, “household goods, clothing and food items.”
Schultz kept Awan on her payroll for months even though Democratic lawmakers had fired him, amid numerous questions and speculations about her perceived motive.
Imran Awan was detained before boarding a plane to Pakistan last Tuesday at Dulles airport. He had previously worked as an IT employee for the Democrats, but his group underwent an investigation by Capitol Hill Police for breaching security protocol.
The Daily Caller reported that witnesses have seen Schultz as “despondent and jumpy” since Awan’s arrest, causing speculation that she knows something she’s not sharing. It’s not the first time the representative has caught flack over avoiding important issues. In vintage footage, she’s seen dodging Tea Party questions after the media questions her about a DNC response.
Awan has pled “not guilty” to the bank fraud charge at his D.C. arraignment hearing and was released under house arrest with an ankle monitor. He will, however, be allowed to travel within 50 miles of his residence, but he will have to abide by a strict curfew and other rules laid out by the court.
It appears quite possible that Wasserman-Schultz knows way more than she’s letting on. Otherwise, why would she be dodging press inquiries on the matter?