It seems there's more than meets the eye in the case of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's decision to keep Imran Awan on her payroll long after he was removed from the House of Representatives.
There had been multiple questions as to why she would continue to employ someone who the rest of the government has decided to remove, especially since it had become clear that the man and his family may have had Muslim Brotherhood ties.
Certainly there was something that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's office feared, and now it seems that there was, in fact, a secret server being used by Imran Awan, that was the motivation for the Capitol Police’s decision to ban any and all IT aides who worked for Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz from the House of Representatives computer network.
It's now believed that Imran Awan may have actually routed data from numerous House Democrats’ computers into a secret server, but it remains unclear what his intentions were.
It's believed that knowledge of these actions was brought into the Police’s radar which even further raised their suspicions and forced them to request a copy of the server themselves earlier this year; but instead they were provided with a manipulated image of the server instead of the actual copy in order to hide any potential violations of Federal Law.
Police also have implied that the manipulated image may have been what ultimately triggered the Imran Awan ban from the House network in February, according to a senior House of Representatives official with direct knowledge of the investigation.
If in fact the secret server was connected to the House Democratic Caucus, which would have given Imran Awan complete control over incoming and outgoing data, it also could implicate Imran Awan in a multitude of other crimes including those which occurred such as the DNC hack and the fact that someone was able to access Bernie Sanders’ campaign staff’s files during the primaries.
The Democratic Caucus at the time was chaired by Representative Xavier Becerra, and Police then notified Becerra that the server was the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation and requested a copy of it.
At that time police were already aware they had been given a fake image instead of the copy they had requested and then considered the manipulated image they received to not only be a crime itself by attempting to interfere in a criminal investigation but suspicious enough to appear as if there was something that was being hidden from law enforcement.
Law enforcement also has evidence that data was backed up to a Dropbox account thereafter in massive increments, which is also a violation of federal laws.
Technically under the law, any Congressional offices are prohibited from using services such as Dropbox officially, so it appears as if the unofficial account was used to back up data which belonged to the Democratic Caucus which would also be a felony.
This, in turn, means that Imran Awan could have had internal access to the data even after being banned from the Congressional network which only further gives credit to the Police’s theory that he had connected a backdoor means of essentially stealing information.
So not only did Imran Awan have top secret access to all of the emails being sent into and out of the Democratic Caucus but likely the entire House of Representatives.
The question still remains who was he harvesting that information for, and could he have been using it to blackmail those House of Representatives members?
The full office computer files of at least 45 members of Congress were breached during this time.
Those 45 members now could believe that Imran Awan has compromising or embarrassing information on each of them and threaten to release such information if they choose to cooperate with Federal prosecutors and that seems to explain exactly why up until this point those Democrats have refused to even acknowledge that a breach took place at all or mention Imran Awan in public.
What that suggests is that Imran Awan carefully planned an insurance policy in case he was to ever face charges, to ensure that any members of the House of Representatives on the Democratic side which had employed Awan and his four family members for years as IT Aides would remain silent.
Once North Awan and his wife, Hina Ali
<a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/5651-Debbie-Wasserman-Schultz-May-Have-Given-Muslim-Brotherhood-Top-Secret-Information">found out about the probe they began to transfer money into Pakistan,</a> which ultimately led to Imran Awan attempting to leave the United States but as we know <a href="http://www.thegoldwater.com/news/5637-Imran-Awan-Debbie-Wasserman-Schultz-s-IT-Tech-Arrested-Trying-To-Flee-US">Imran Awan was stopped when trying to take flight.</a>
The husband and wife duo of <a href="https://www.thegoldwater.com/news/6817-Imran-Awan-Debbie-Wasserman-Schultz-s-IT-Tech-Indicted-Today-Convenient-Terror-Distraction">Awan and Ali were indicted by a federal grand jury</a> indicted in August on fraud charges related to the transfers.
As of now neither have been charged with any criminal cyber security violations, which lead many to believe that those same 45 Democrats have been avoiding giving investigators any information to assist in their attempts to build the case.
Each of the compromised House member’s data should have been supposed stored on their own servers, but Imran moved those files to a computer that was only supposed to hold the files of the Administrative Office of the Democratic Caucus.
In the early spring of 2016, House administrators became aware that the Awans were allegedly falsifying the purchase orders which taxpayer dollars were financing.
They followed the trail of cash and found that the misconduct extended to a major cyber security breach, which now opens the potential for an unlimited number of new charges against both Imran Awan and even those elected officials who may have withheld information due to fear of blackmail.
Of course, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's brother who was actually overseeing the investigation <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/5697-Steven-Wasserman-Brother-of-Debbie-Wasserman-Schultz-Overseeing-Awan-Imran-Case">was sure to grant her some form of protection.</a>
As of the date of January 24th, 2017, Becerra vacated his Congressional seat to become California’s Attorney General.
According to a Senior House official, “He wanted to wipe his server, and we brought to his attention it was under investigation. The light-off was we asked for an image of the server, and they deliberately turned over a fake server.”
“They were using the House Democratic Caucus as their central service warehouse … It was a breach. The data was completely out of the members’ possession. Does it mean it was sold to the Russians? I don’t know,” the Senior House Official said.
Capitol Police considered this image a sign that the Awans were fully aware that they were involved in both a blackmail scheme and also going to great lengths to try to cover it up, the senior official said. The House’s own Sergeant-at-Arms banned them from the network as a result of those implications.
The Senior Official said the data was also transmitted off site via the Dropbox account, from which copies could easily be downloaded by foreign agents or those who wished to do the United States harm.
Authorities could not immediately shut down the account when the Awans were banned from the network because it was not an official account that was being used.
“For members to say their data was not compromised is simply inaccurate. They had access to all the data including all emails. Imran Awan is the walking example of an insider threat, a criminal actor who had access to everything,” the Senior House Official said.
The Executive Director of the Democratic Caucus was Sean McCluskie, who was Becerra’s Chief of Staff and is now chief Deputy Attorney General of California. McCluskie has so far ignored any requests for comment.
Contrary to the fact those Democrats were fully aware of the importance of cyber security after the Democratic National Committee <a href="https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/">emails appeared on Wikileaks</a> in July 2016, the employing members have gone to great lengths to avoid any condemnations of Imran Awan and have remained silent as to whether or not they checked their office data’s security following the breach.
“After being notified by the House Administration Committee, this individual was removed from our payroll. We are confident that everything in our office is secure,” a spokesman for Michigan Democratic Representative Sander Levin said in February.
Levin’s own Chief Of Staff Nick Gwyn refused this week to speak about the investigation or recognize the situation with the secret server and Dropbox arrangement.
A spokesman for Ohio Democratic Representative Marcia Fudge said back in August that she had terminated Imran Awan after learning of the criminal investigation.
However, she claimed, “there’s no indication that he stole information or did anything inappropriate.” Fudge’s spokesman would not clarify the August statement this week despite attempts to ask him.
Fudge along with other members have not acknowledged that the breach occurred, and there is no reason to think they took action to investigate where their data might have gone and mitigated any harm to constituents and others.
Wasserman-Schultz's office has since acknowledged that Chiefs of Staff were informed that the Awan family was under an investigation which was at the time characterized as “data transfer violations.”
DWS had continued to refuse to fire Awan even after he was banned from touching official computers, and she used a May 17th, 2017, budget hearing with the House Chief Administrative Officer which was set to attack authorities for not stopping her from breaking the Dropbox rule.
“I am more than happy to admit that I use Dropbox. I have used it for years and years and years. It is not blocked. I am fully able to use it,” she said.
Network Administrators claim they told Debbie Wasserman-Schultz that they had clearly communicated the rules to IT aides, but instead of faulting Imran Awan for not following them, Wasserman Schultz lashed out at the House for “just lobbing e-mail into a tech person’s inbox.”
The Senior Official said the Awans’ enterprise-scale use of Dropbox was not the casual use of a popular consumer application, but the funneling of huge quantities of data offsite where it could not be taken back by House authorities.
Becerra was one of five members who first hired Awan in 2004, his first year on the Hill. Only two of the five Representatives, Gregory Meeks of New York and Becerra, remained in office through 2016, and each of them later hired two of Imran Awan’s family members including his wife Alvi and brother Abid.
When Becerra became Chairman of the Democratic Caucus in 2013, his office began paying Alvi $25,000 to $30,000 a year in addition to the payments from Becerra’s personal office, meaning he was responsible for far more of the payments to the Imran Awan family than any other member.
What exactly did Imran Awan have on these House and former House Representatives that would force them to continue payments to them? It suggests the plot is only thickening in this case.
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