Congress has requested information from the Capitol Police investigation into Imran Awan, the former IT staffer for Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) who was arrested July 24 and is suspected of bank fraud and violating House policies.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, congressional leaders suggested that the investigation will include questioning Wasserman Schultz, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, whose actions may “merit resignation,” according to House sources.
Awan was arrested at Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport last month as he attempted to leave the U.S. for his home country of Pakistan. The FBI and Capitol Police named Awan as a suspect in an ongoing investigation into House security breaches.
According to the Free Beacon, leading members of Congress have grown frustrated at the slowness of the investigation into Awan and his family and have began launching investigations of their own. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), a member of the House Oversight Committee and chairman of its National Security Subcommittee, reportedly requested a briefing from the Capitol Police regarding the investigation Tuesday.
DeSantis told the Free Beacon that this could potentially be “one of the all-time congressional scandals in the last 30 years.”
“I’m pushing very heard to get a full briefing from Capitol Police as soon as possible,” DeSantis told the Free Beacon. “There’s clearly criminal elements to this and I think there will be more going on. There’s probably going to be ethics issues on why these [taxpayer] funds were spent that [Wasserman Schultz] and others will have to deal with.”
The Free Beacon reported that unnamed senior congressional sources called Schultz’s lack of cooperation into the investigation “unsettling” and that her decision to continue to pay Awan and his associates after evidence of illegal activity surfaced could merit her resignation.
Wasserman Schultz has been reportedly avoiding reporters and acting “jumpy” since Awan’s arrest, according to inside sources.
Meanwhile, anonymous multiple sources told the Free Beacon that congressional committees are moving toward beginning an investigation. This includes questioning Wasserman Schultz. The probe will likely fall under the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Administration along with House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) office, the Free Beacon said.
According to the Free Beacon, the Awan scandal has “rocked the halls of Congress.”
“The extent of the potential breaches has been made more clear” as time goes on, one of the sources told the Free Beacon. The source said that “the inexplicable nature of the conduct of Wasserman Schultz and others has broadened” congressional interest into the investigation.
“At best for her that is gross misapplication of public funds that could merit resignation alone,” the source added. “There’s got to be more to that story.”
Awan and his associates ran IT for more than 30 Democratic lawmakers’ offices, including members of the Homeland Security Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Intelligence Committee. Awan and each of his employees were making the maximum salary one can attain in the Capitol at $140,000 to $160,000 each, about the same as a congressman.
Democratic lawmakers were reportedly strangely protective of the Awans, despite high expenses and poorly done work. Sources said that staffers were fired if they displeased the Awans, and lawmakers refused to hire tech companies that offered to do better work at one-fourth the price.