26 July 2017

OK, This is Very Weird

It appears that a group of Congressional aides, most of them working for Debbie Wasserman Schultz in some capacity, and all of them originally from Pakistan, have been under criminal investigation, and one of Wasserman Schultz's aides was arrested trying to catch a flight to Pakistan: (Background stories going back to February here and here)
Imran Awan, a House staffer at the center of a criminal investigation potentially affecting dozens of Democratic lawmakers, has been arrested on a bank fraud charge and is prevented from leaving the country while the charge is pending.

A senior House Democratic aide confirmed Awan was still employed by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) as of Tuesday morning. But David Damron, a spokesman for Wasserman Schultz, later said that Awan was fired on Tuesday.

Awan pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to one count of bank fraud during his arraignment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Awan is accused of attempting to defraud the Congressional Federal Credit Union by obtaining a $165,000 home equity loan for a rental property, which is against the credit union’s policies since it is not the owner’s primary residence. Those funds were then included as part of a wire transfer to two individuals in Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Awan was arrested Monday evening at Dulles International Airport in Virginia before boarding a flight to Lahore, Pakistan. His wife, Hina Alvi, had earlier left the country for Pakistan, along with their children. Federal agents do not believe Alvi has any intention of returning to the U.S., according to a court document.


Awan, a longtime IT staffer who worked for more than two dozen House Democrats, has been at the center of a criminal investigation on Capitol Hill for months related to procurement theft. Several of his family members, also IT staffers at the time, were implicated in the ongoing investigation.


Alvi, another House staff member involved in the Capitol Hill investigation, left the country with their three daughters, headed for Pakistan, in March, according to an affidavit filed in the Awan case. Alvi had “numerous pieces of luggage” and more than $12,000 in cash, FBI agent Brandon Merriman wrote in the affidavit.
(emphasis mine)

The stories of he investigation at Politico go back to early February, which means that, unlike the claims made by Mr. Awan's lawyer, any investigation almost certainly began under the Obama administration.

There are also allegations of equipment and data theft, and these people worked for Democratic members of Congress for years.

This is f%$#ing weird, and I'm wondering if this is organized crime or some sort of ISI operation gone pear shaped.


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