Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz finally broke her silence on arrested IT staffer Imran Awan, and far from showing any kind of regret for the actions she made during the whole situation, she was quite defiant. Believe it or not, she said she stands by her decision to keep Awan on her payroll for six months after he was fired by members of Congress and banned from the House network.
During an exclusive interview with the Sun Sentinel on Thursday, Wasserman Schultz assured she did the right thing and told she would do it again without hesitation. She explained there are moments when you need to stand up for what’s right no matter if you’re standing alone. Additionally, she told the easier option would have been to fire Awam.
After being arrested on bank fraud charges at an airport while trying to escape from the country, the Weston Democrat did fire him last week. Naturally, Wasserman Schultz is in hot water considering that as the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, she’s the most prominent Democrat who employed him.
Democratic primary challenger and members of the GOP have brutally criticized her decision to keep employing Awan. As a matter of fact, many suggest she’s hiding something and the Awan’s issue is much more serious than Wasserman Schultz is letting on.
On her part, she assured his arrest had no relationship with the months-long investigation of Awan as an IT worker for a variety of members of the Congress. Naturally, this is such a delicate case that many believe it could represent a major hit to Wasserman Schultz’ career. In fact, there are some Democratic members who are refusing to tell any kind of comment regarding this issue considering that it could be harmful to them.
So far, it is known that Awan worked for the Congresswoman for more than a decade since she came into office back in 2004. Apparently, she fired him this past week and would have kept paying him not matter if he was living in Pakistan.
Six months ago, three Pakistani brothers who managed the IT affairs for numerous Democratic government officials were fired on suspicion that they accessed specific computer networks without permission. Naturally, many believe behind this hacking there could be a sensitive story that it hasn’t been revealed yet.
According to several news outlets, Awan received $164,600 last year, with close to $20,000 of that money coming from the Congresswoman. Several documents revealed that he started working for her in 2005, just three years before Barack Obama won the presidential election.
Imran’s brother Jamal was paid $157,350 last year, and he started to work as a staffer three years ago. Another brother called Abid was paid almost $170,000 in 2016, and he started to work back in 2005.
Although there’s a lot of surprising elements in this highly controversial case, one of the most incredible is the fact that Imran’s wife Hina Alvi was also deeply involved. Apparently, she was employed as a staffer since February 2007, and was paid $168,300 last year. Additionally, another person close to the Awan family called Rao Abbas, was paid $85,049 last year.
The three brothers were barred from the computer networks at the House of Representatives in February. Most of the House Members fired Imran, Jawal and Abid subsequently.
However, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was the only exception, since she kept Imran on the pay roll up to the day he got arrested for bank fraud after trying to flee the United States to Pakistan. According to several reports, the rest of his family managed to flee back to the Middle East country and brought with them tens of thousands of tax-payer dollars after working for several years with members of the Democratic Party.
Wasserman Schultz her decision to keep IT aide Awan on payroll; I believe I did the right thing I would do it again ?pic.twitter.com/ODuMAeV1dF
— Eye On The Sparrow (@2Chron169) 4 de agosto de 2017
As informed by Judge Napolitano on Monday, this case is extremely sensitive since he revealed that the Awan brothers sold U.S. secrets to foreign agents. He explained to Fox News that the fact that Imra got arrested for financial crime only represents the tip of the iceberg, since Napolitano assured the real crime against him was that he had contact and access to emails of every member of the Congress and sold it.
While the investigation keeps in its course, many believe that the outcome could be really ugly for Wasserman Schultz and the Democratic Party.