Disgraced Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz must have had a helluva Fourth of July after hearing that her Information Technology aide Imran Awan cut a nice juicy deal with federal prosecutors. The plea bargain means the former Congressional assistant to the Florida Representative will get nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
Mr. Awan, you may remember, didn’t just work for Schultz, but was farmed out to a bevy of Democratic Congressmen. This position gave him unfettered access to electronic communications, alarming many Republicans that Awan may have been involved in a cyber breach of Congressional operations.
In the end, prosecutors said they found “no evidence” of information theft or cyber-spying by Awan despite what they call “a thorough investigation.”
The Washington Post obtained the plea agreement from prosecutors, which does not seem to be available on the internet. The 18-month investigation by the Feds means Awan will cop to “making a false statement on a bank loan,” according to WaPo, but will not face any time in the slammer.
This plea bargain flies in the face of an inquiry by the Office of Inspector General that found Awan & Company were “funneling data” off of the House network. The OIG report also found evidence that appeared to demonstrate they were trying to “conceal their activity.” As well, Awan was taken into custody at Dulles airport while trying to flee the country after pulverizing his computer equipment. Like a scene from the cult-movie Office Space, FBI officials found the smashed wreckage at Awan’s Lorton, Virginia home.
The Pakistani-American, his brothers Abid and Jamal – along with his wife worked for 30 U.S. Representatives in total. None of them had security clearances, and there is no evidence that this Pakistani cyber cabal was even adequately vetted before being given access to a mountain of Congressional information. In fact, each office they worked for signed a disclaimer stating that no background checks were needed. Naturally, this shady group of characters fueled dozens of conspiracy theories, none of which federal prosecutors ultimately bought.
U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu – a Trump nominee – conducted the investigation. The judge in the case, Tanya Chutkan was an Obama appointee and a partner at a Clinton-friendly law firm.
What This Means
The most damning evidence against Awan and his unsavory pals is the Inspector General Report. Why this OIG investigation was not considered by federal prosecutors remains a mystery. If Mr. Awan did nothing more than make an untrue application on a bank loan, why the necessity to take a baseball bat to his computers and run for the hills? Also, why did the FBI arrest him at Dulles Airport? Just for the fun of it?
The government does itself and the American citizenry no favors by trying to sweep Awan’s bizarre activities and seemingly criminal activities under the rug. This deal with the feds only serves to undermine American trust in our system of jurisprudence, which has been declining at a rapid pace of late. When justice is not served, our nation becomes no better than a third-rate corrupt kingdom.
Perhaps it’s time to heed the words of the late, great Samuel Adams. In 1749, the American statesman and Founding Father published an essay in The Public Advertiser that said:
[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.