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Pakistani 'Mystery Man' Wants Plea Deal In Case Linked to Rep. Wasserman Schultz

June 7th 2018

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

A former aide to congressional Democrats may soon enter into a plea deal with federal prosecutors in a case that has drawn the attention of President Donald Trump. Imran Awan, a Pakistani-American who provided IT services to more than a dozen Democrats in the House of Representatives, and wife Hina Alvi will appear before  U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in Washington on July 3. The court filing did not betray any of the terms of the apparent agreement.

The Awan case has been questioned by congressional Republicans because of Awan’s involvement with prominent Democrats, such as Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, and his access to sensitive data. President Trump tweeted that Awan is “the Pakistani mystery man,” and asked in 2017 “Whatever happened to this Pakistani guy who worked with the DNC?”

In May, prosecutors wrote of the Awan case: “The parties are currently exploring a possible resolution of this matter,” adding, “Therefore, the parties are requesting additional time in which to explore that resolution.” On Wednesday, Awan’s attorney, Christopher J. Gowen, signaled that the plea may not yet be a done deal and a trial date will be determined.

According to court documents, Awan is in the High Intensity Supervision Program (HISP), which means that he is limited to a 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and must not travel beyond 150 miles from his residence. Awan was born in Pakistan but has been a U.S. citizen for at least 10 years.

The federal case against Awan has been delayed several times over the last six months. Since November, a judge has postponed a court hearing in Awan’s case before the U.S. District Court six times at the request of the prosecution and defense. Awan’s defense attorney has blamed what he regards as false allegations aired online and aired by Trump and Republicans.

In response to various media reports that have suggested that Away may have been involved in exposing sensitive data because of his access to Democrats’ computer systems, Awan’s defense team have denied that he was involved. However, Awan and Alvi are both contending with allegations that they were involved in a conspiracy to obtain home equity lines of credit from the Congressional Federal Credit Union after allegedly giving false information about two properties. They then sent the proceeds of the lines of credit to individuals in Pakistan.

In August 2017, an indictment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia charged both Awan and Alvi with four counts relating to the credit fraud charges that included federal bank fraud and conspiracy. Awan has pleaded not guilty to all charges.In early 2017, Awan and other aides to House Democrats were already being probed over alleged theft of equipment, as well as access to sensitive computer systems and more. The various cases have brought Rep. Wasserman Schultz into focus because she kept him on the congressional payroll even during a criminal investigation was underway and though he barred from the House IT network. While most Democrats had fired Awan by February 2017, Wasserman Schultz continued to pay him until his arrest at Dulle International Airport in July when he was apparently seeking to leave the country. Awan’s wife has left the United States with $12,000; she was also on Wasserman Schultz’s payroll. Wasserman Schultz has blamed the “right-wing media circus fringe” for Awan’s troubles. In April 2017, Awan left a laptop in a Capitol Hill phone booth with a note that read “attorney client privilege.” The laptop in now in the custody of the U.S. Capitol Police.


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