SHOCK: Dem IT Staffers Still Working While Under Criminal Investigation
At least two House IT staffers are reportedly under active criminal investigation by the U.S. Capitol Police for stealing equipment and data and remain employed Tuesday, amid mounting questions regarding how they were able to pass their background checks.
On Saturday, The Daily Caller reported that three brothers -- Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan -- were "abruptly relieved of their duties on suspicion that they accessed congressional computers without permission." However, some are still working because, according to a report in Politico Monday, the brothers are “shared employees” -- employees hired by multiple offices which use them as needed for IT services. Each office would need to fire them, and "multiple Democrat lawmakers" have not yet terminated the employment of each staffer.
The three brothers were barred from computer networks at the House of Representatives last Thursday, according to the Daily Caller.
Imran's wife Hina Alvi and another House staffer with connections to Imran Awan are also being investigated in connection with the alleged theft, according to a senior House official close to the investigation:
Three members of the intelligence panel and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs were among the dozens of members who employed the suspects on a shared basis. The two committees deal with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.
Also among those whose computer systems may have been compromised is Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Democrat who was previously the target of a disastrous email hack when she served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign.
The brothers are suspected of serious violations, including accessing members’ computer networks without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress.
Jamal handled IT for Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat who serves on both the intelligence and foreign affairs panels.
“As of 2/2, his employment with our office has been terminated,” Castro spokeswoman Erin Hatch told TheDCNF Friday.
According to Politico, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Gregory Meeks are two Democratic lawmakers who have not yet cut ties:
Imran Awan, a longtime House staffer who worked for more than two dozen Democrats since 2004, is still employed by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, though his access to the House IT network has been blocked since last week.“At this time we are continuing to gather information from House officials and will determine the best approach to move forward once we have reviewed that information,” David Damron, communications director for Wasserman Schultz, said in an email when asked by POLITICO if Awan was still working for the Florida Democrat.
Imran Awan and Alvi still remained employed by at least one congressman as of Monday night: