Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan were barred from computer networks at the House of Representatives in February 2017.
The Awan brothers’ server with much of the key evidence to the case has gone missing. The Epoch Times reported:
In a behind-closed-door briefing to the House leadership in September 2016, the inspector general said their activity was suspicious in part because the IT workers had taken steps to conceal their identities.
“Excessive logons are an indication that the server is being used for nefarious purposes and elevated the risk that individuals could be reading and/or removing information,” reads a presentation by the inspector general that was not released to the public.
The inspector general also warned of the risk that the server could be used as a repository to store documents “taken from other offices or evidence of other illicit activity.”
The investigation had uncovered Dropbox accounts installed on at least two Democratic Caucus computers used by the IT workers, against House IT policy.
The two accounts associated with the Dropbox accounts on the computers each contained thousands of files.
“We have not been permitted to view content of the files on these workstations. However, based on the file names, some of the information is likely sensitive,” the presentation says.
The inspector general also warned House leadership that the accounts could have been used to exfiltrate information.
“While file-sharing sites, such as Dropbox, have legitimate business purposes, use of such sites is also a classic method for insiders to exfiltrate data from an organization.”
Server Goes Missing
Following a second briefing in late September 2016, in which the House inspector warned the House leadership of “continuing unauthorized access,” the investigation was moved to the Capitol Police in October.
It was not until months later, on Feb. 2, 2017, that the House sergeant at arms banned the IT workers from the House network.
The Democratic Caucus server, which had been identified by the inspector general as ground zero of the suspicious activity, had disappeared at that time.
Just heard the Campaign was sued by the Obstructionist Democrats. This can be good news in that we will now counter for the DNC Server that they refused to give to the FBI, the Wendy Wasserman Schultz Servers and Documents held by the Pakistani mystery man and Clinton Emails.
( Daily Caller ) The “Pakistani Mystery Man” is Imran Awan, who worked as Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s email server administrator in the House of Representatives. Nearly his entire family then joined the payroll of other Democrats, until they worked for 1 in 5 House Democrats and had — as the House inspector general called it — the ‘keys to the kingdom‘ and ability to access any file.
1. Imran worked for Debbie Wasserman Schultz since 2004 and had the passwords to her devices
A September 30, 2016, presentation alleged Imran Awan and his family members were logging into the servers of members who had previously fired him, funneling data off the network, and that evidence “suggests steps are being taken to conceal their activity.”
The Awan group’s behavior mirrored a “classic method for insiders to exfiltrate data from an organization,” the briefing materials allege. The presentation especially found problems on one server: that of the House Democratic Caucus, an entity similar to the DNC that was chaired at the time by then-Rep. Xavier Becerra.
3. The Awan group was left on the House computer network until February 2, 2017 — days after Donald Trump’s inauguration
Police then banned the Awan group from the network. The Committee on House Administration put out a statement saying “House Officials became aware of suspicious activity and alleged theft committed by certain House IT support staff.” Since then, no official body has ever publicly provided any information about the case. But the IG report, obtained by TheDCNF, shows that theft was not the primary issue being warned about.
Authorities took the disappearance as evidence tampering, they said. Becerra said he won’t discuss the incident because of an ongoing criminal investigation.
5. Wasserman Schultz declined to fire Imran despite knowing he was suspected of cyber-security violations, even though she had just lost her job as DNC chair after its anemic handling of its data breach
Her office claimed Imran could work on “websites and printers” without accessing the network. Watchdog group FACT has filed an ethics complaint saying this was impossible, and a cybersecurity publication called the judgment negligent.
along with a letter to prosecutors and a copy of his ID. Capitol Police found the laptop at midnight and seized it because they recognized Imran as a criminal suspect. Wasserman Schultz still didn’t fire Imran. Instead, she threatened Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa with “consequences” if he didn’t give it back, implying it was “a member’s laptop.” The police chief refused.
She flew to Pakistan with cardboard boxes of possessions, FBI agents said in an affidavit. They approached her at the airport, but she refused to talk to them. They found $12,000 in cash but let her board anyway, writing they do “not believe that Alvi has any intention to return to the United States.”
8. Prosecutors arrested Imran at the airport after he began liquidating assets
Imran and his wife had wired $300,000 to Pakistan after allegedly both cashing out a federal retirement account and taking a second mortgage under allegedly false pretenses. The FBI arrested Imran at the airport, and he was charged with bank fraud. Democrats have claimed the case is therefore about bank fraud, but prosecutors imply in court papers the bank fraud occurred because The Awans learned they were under investigation for other activities. “Based on the suspicious timing of that transaction, Awan and Alvi likely knew they were under investigation at that time,” prosecutors wrote of the money moves.
Imran’s lawyer is a former aide to Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Wasserman Schultz’s brother is an attorney at the same prosecutor’s office that is handling the case, the US Attorney for the District of Columbia.
Trump: “Just heard the Campaign was sued by the Obstructionist Democrats. This can be good news in that we will now counter for the DNC Server that they refused to give to the FBI, the Debbie Wasserman Schultz Servers and Documents held by the Pakistani mystery man and Clinton Emails.”
President Donald Trump reacted to the news that the Democrats had decided to sue his presidential campaign for an illegal conspiracy with the Russians to win the 2016 election.
“Just heard the Campaign was sued by the Obstructionist Democrats,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “This can be good news in that we will now counter[sue] for the DNC Server that they refused to give to the FBI.”
Despite the DNC claim that their emails were hacked by the Russians, they never turned over their server to the FBI for investigation.
“During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump’s campaign,” DNC chairman Tom Perez said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.
Just heard the Campaign was sued by the Obstructionist Democrats. This can be good news in that we will now counter for the DNC Server that they refused to give to the FBI, the Debbie Wasserman Schultz Servers and Documents held by the Pakistani mystery man and Clinton Emails.
DNC CEO Amy Dacey learned of the breach in late April, but of the 27,500 DNC emails published by Wikileaks, fewer than 7,000 pre-date April 29
Analysis of the published emails shows that the majority were written between May 5 and May 25 — after cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike was brought in to respond.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz decided not to call in the FBI and instead, about five days after the hack, enlisted the company CrowdStrike to perform investigation and remediation without consulting the DNC’s board
DNC CEO Amy Dacey learned of the breach in late April, but of the 27,500 DNC emails published by Wikileaks, fewer than 7,000 pre-date April 29. A Daily Caller News Foundation analysis of the published emails shows that the majority were written between May 5 and May 25 — after cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike was brought in to respond.
The emails exposed dirty laundry that Democrats have said swayed the election in President Donald Trump’s favor, and they might never have seen the light of day had the DNC enlisted law enforcement to immediately lock down its system after first detecting problems.
Dacey and chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz decided not to call in the FBI and instead, about five days after the hack, enlisted the company CrowdStrike to perform investigation and remediation without consulting the DNC’s board, according to Brazile. CrowdStrike implanted itself May 5, within a day of being asked, according to The Washington Post. In the intervening days, 5,800 new emails were written and captured.
For weeks after the highly-paid firm responded, the breach continued unabated. More than 16,000 emails later published by Wikileaks were written after May 5.
Donna Brazile says Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was unusually calm after the so called DNC hack occurred.
On June 14 Debbie invited the Democratic Party officers to a conference call to alert us that a story about hacking the DNC that would be published in the Washington Post the following day. That call was the first time we’d heard that there was a problem. Debbie’s tone was so casual that I had not absorbed the details, nor even thought that it was much for us to be concerned about. Her manner indicated that this hacking thing was something she had covered. But had she?
( True Pundit ) The legal teams for Imran Awan and Hina Alvi are close to finalizing immunity deals with the Justice Department that could spare them jail time in exchange for testimony against sitting members of Congress, federal law enforcement sources said.
FBI sources familiar with the case said late Friday that Imran Awan’s legal counsel was “deep in the process” of structuring an immunity deal for himself and his wife with Justice Department lawyers. The deal would allow the couple to freely testify against any or all Democratic lawmakers they worked for as IT specialists, including Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
The focus of the federal probe has shifted from the bank fraud allegations against the Pakistani couple to classified intelligence breaches in Congress, FBI sources confirm.
Before Friday, Awan had agreed to cooperate with DOJ and FBI to help “fill in gaps” in the bank fraud case against the Pakistani couple, who were indicted Aug. 17. But as talks with the FBI and Justice Department progressed this week, Awan also agreed to have his wife return from Pakistan to be arrested and face charges, sources said, and his legal team continues to cooperate with the FBI in “connected matters.”
The deal would avoid a lengthy extradition battle between the United States and Pakistan.
( Daily Caller ) A laptop that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has frantically fought to keep prosecutors from examining may have been planted for police to find by her since-indicted staffer, Imran Awan, along with a letter to the U.S. Attorney.
U.S. Capitol Police found the laptop after midnight April 6, 2017, in a tiny room that formerly served as a phone booth in the Rayburn House Office Building, according to a Capitol Police report reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group. Alongside the laptop were a Pakistani ID card, copies of Awan’s driver’s license and congressional ID badge, and letters to the U.S. attorney. Police also found notes in a composition notebook marked “attorney-client privilege.”
The laptop was found on the second floor of the Rayburn building — a place Awan would have had no reason to go because Wasserman Schultz’s office is in the Longworth building and the other members who employed him had fired him.
The laptop had the username “RepDWS,” even though the Florida Democrat and former Democratic National Committee chairman previously said it was Awan’s computer and that she had never even seen it.
The circumstances of the laptop’s appearance described in the police report suggest Wasserman Schultz was trying to keep the police from reviewing a laptop that Awan himself may have wanted them to find. The former phone booth room where police found the items is small, and there was no obvious reason to enter it.
Even though the laptop was allegedly used only by an IT aide who worked for numerous members, Wasserman Schultz has hired an outside counsel, William Pittard, to argue that the laptop not be examined. Pittard argued that the speech and debate clause — which only protects a member’s information directly related to legislative duties — should prevent prosecutors from examining the laptop’s contents, TheDCNF has learned. Pittard did not respond to requests for comment.
Pittard, a partner with KaiserDillon, is the former acting general counsel of the House. Hiring an outside counsel to argue the speech and debate clause on behalf of Wasserman Schultz is highly unusual, because the general counsel of the House offers opinions on speech and debate issues for free.