FBI agents working in tandem with Capitol Police on the probe into violations committed by Pakistani staffers in the House Democrats IT network have reportedly seized hard drives from the home of former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s IT administrator.
In an exclusive with The Daily Caller, sources with intimate knowledge of the investigation said that the FBI has recently seized computer hard drives from the former home of IT administrator Imran Awan. Awan has reportedly been trying to get the hard drives back but to no avail.
Additional sources told The Daily Caller that the FBI has officially added their services to the probe into “serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network” by Imran and three of his relatives, who had complete access to the online network of more than two dozen House Democrats who employed them on a part time basis.
The FBI’s help was needed as the extent of the online crimes potentially committed by the Awans has extended outside the purview of the Capitol Police. Speaker Paul Ryan spoke to the Capitol Police’s investigation back in March, saying they were “getting the kind of technical assistance they need to do that. This is under an active criminal investigation; their capabilities are pretty strong, but they’re also able to go and get the kind of help they need from other sources.”
After emails of House Democrats that only the Awans had access to were leaked in July of last year, Wasserman Schultz resigned as DNC Chair. But she refused to fire Imran Awan, who upon hearing about the opening of an investigation back in February, abruptly moved out of his longtime home on Hawkshead Drive in Lorton, Virginia. The person who subsequently moved into the home, a Marine Corps veteran, said he found “wireless routers, hard drives that look like they tried to destroy, laptops, [and] a lot of brand new expensive toner.”
Upon seeing the extent of the electronic machinery, the marine called the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and, soon thereafter, FBI agents, together with the Capitol Police, interviewed them and confiscated the equipment.
“It was in the garage. They recycled cabinets and lined them along the walls. They left in a huge hurry,” the marine said. “It looks like government-issued equipment. We turned that stuff over.”
Imran began working for Wasserman Schultz in 2005. Soon, his brothers, Abid and Jamal, and his best friend, Rao Abbas, were taken onto the staff of the House Democrats IT team, as well. The Pakistanis reportedly earned $4 million in wages from House Democrats over the time period they were employed. Now, the three brothers and Abbas, along with Imran’s wife, are under investigation.
The marine said that Imran threatened to sue him in his attempts to get the routers back and that he came to the house “three to four times” demanding he hand them over to him.
“It was unbelievable. I don’t know where they get off thinking they’re going to sue us for items we have no obligation to hold onto,” he said. “Their lawyer contacted us today via email and said we owed $350 in late charges and the items he left in the house.”
The crux of the investigation seeks to uncover the extent of the data the Pakistanis downloaded to an offsite server. But, House Democrats have been strangely uncooperative in the matter, to the chagrin of the marine, who said, “I served in the Marine Corps for 14 years; if I downloaded files to an offsite server, I’m going to prison for a lot of years.”
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