Yesterday The Daily Caller posted a story about Hina Alvi, wife of Imran Awan. Imran Awan and Hina Alvi were information technology staffers who worked for Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and other Democrat congressmen.
In case you have forgotten:
- Imran Awan was arrested on charges of bank fraud, but that is only a small part of the story.
- Mr. Awan and a number of members of his family were employed by multiple Congressmen. When Mr. Awan reached the salary cap for his job, he would hire another family member. This continued, evidently with little regard to the computer skills of the hired family member.
- Mr. Awan at one point set up an alias account that allowed him to access Congressional servers after he was denied access. At one point after he was denied access, a significant data download occurred under his alias account. Mr. Awan claimed that the data download was his elementary school child’s homework, but the download involved thousands of pages. Most elementary school homework does not involve thousands of pages. It was also noted that the size of the data breach was such that it could not have been done over the internet—it had to be done using a thumb drive or similar piece of equipment.
- It is quite possible that the leakage of information regarding the Democratic National Committee came from Mr. Awan. At the time Mr. Awan was employed by Representative Wasserman-Schultz, she was chairman of Democratic National Committee.
Hina Alvi was stopped at the airport on her way to Pakistan with a substantial amount of money. The FBI let her go.
The article reports:
For nearly a year since, the case has lingered despite the House Office of Inspector General (OIG) determining that the family of Pakistanis made “unauthorized access” to Congress’s data shortly before the election.
Following revelations about the FBI’s actions in the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server and Department of Justice officials’ handling of the Trump dossier, attention has turned to the agencies’ apparently lax attitude toward the congressional cyber breach case as perhaps the most jarring failure to enforce laws in cases that overlap politics.
The OIG alleged Imran Awan and his family members logged into servers of congressmen for whom they did not work, logged in using members’ personal usernames, covered their tracks, and continued to access data after they’d been fired.
Though the findings place the case squarely into the category of political cyber-crimes that have otherwise been high-profile priorities, the lead FBI agent assigned to the Awan case was a first-year agent, and not from one of the FBI’s big-guns divisions. The charges brought by prosecutors are so minor that Awan’s own lawyer speculated they could be a “placeholder” for future charges.
Server logs of government computers backed up the OIG’s findings. Yet six months after the initial charges, no additional counts have been brought, raising the question of whether the DOJ is seriously investigating the potential national security breach.
The article concludes:
Hosko (Ron Hosko, the FBI’s former assistant director) said six months in, DOJ has all the tools it needs and cannot blame the House, and inaction can only indicate a lack of desire to pursue the case.
“I would hope the Capitol Police are being forthcoming with the U.S. attorney, not just telling them a part of what’s gone on here,” Hosko said, alluding to the House’s characterization of the incident as a “theft” case. “But with these circumstances, [DOJ] can’t put their head in the sand. You can’t just say, ‘Well, someone on the Hill said it’s Speech and Debate.’ There’s certainly a way around it. This is [ Attorney General Jeff] Sessions, and there’s a new mindset in DOJ.”
(Michael Marando is the prosecutor. Since the case began, President Donald Trump appointed a new U.S. attorney, Jessie Liu.)
“I don’t see it as [members] having the opportunity to press charges — the government is the victim,” Hosko said.
If prosecutors don’t act, Hosko said, higher-level officials could consider moving the case. “It could be the Eastern District of Virginia has jurisdiction as well,” he said.
Their next court date is March 8.
There are some familiar names in this case:
Ron Hosko, the FBI’s former assistant director, said the agent on the case is “getting marginalized on the thing, he doesn’t have the bigger picture.” He said the facts in the case plainly call for the resources of both the FBI’s counterintelligence division and the public corruption unit. Peter Strzok, who sought to close down the investigation into Clinton’s emails before the intelligence community IG found classified materials, and who repeatedly voiced his support for Democrats, was deputy assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division.
It is becoming very obvious that the corruption at the top of the FBI has been there for a while and has been working against the interests of the American people. It is long past time to clean house.
Notice that we haven’t heard anything about this scandal from the mainstream media for a while.