Daily Caller: The family of Imran Awan, the now-indicted former IT aide to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other Democrats, was previously accused of fraud in Pakistan involving “huge chunks” of land, but the charges were dropped because “Awan’s son had easy access to the corridors of power,” according to a detailed article in a Pakistani newspaper.
Elderly farmers said Imran’s father ripped them off, but local police dropped charges against Imran’s father and targeted his accusers after alleged pressure from Pakistani national-level politicians, the Sept. 3, 2009, article in Dawn reported. The story was headlined, “Influential expat shields father from long arm of law.”
A Democratic IT aide said Imran told him a similar story in a House cafeteria in 2009 and said Imran claimed he persuaded Rahm Emanuel — the Obama White House chief of staff who employed the Awan family during his days as a congressman — to intervene. The Dawn article refers to Imran as a White House employee.
The dropped charges and alleged punishing of victims raise questions about whether congressional employers pulled in favors, and how an IT aide could have such influence. The Awans had access to the emails of 45 members of Congress.
The entire Awan family was on the payroll of House Democrats as IT aides, and most earned as much as chiefs of staffs, taking in more than $5 million in pay. The 45 current members of Congress who employed the crew have refused to criticize him and have not said they’ve done anything to assess the integrity of their data despite a steady stream of suspicious conduct.
The office of Emanuel, who is now mayor of Chicago, did not respond to a request for comment.
The IT aide relayed the 2009 story from the House cafeteria to The Daily Caller News Foundation in February, along with other details of Imran’s activities that were later independently confirmed. His account lined up with the article, except that Imran told the aide his father was being harassed wrongfully in Pakistan. After seeing the Dawn article, TheDCNF asked the aide if he had read the article, and he said he was not aware of any news article.
“He told me the whole story verbatim: the person who got him in the orbit was Rahm Emanuel, who left to be [White House] chief of staff,” the aide said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of job concerns. “Imran told me his family has lots of business interests in Pakistan, and his dad was ripped off. He [had] worked for Rahm Emanuel and got him to call” the State Department to intervene, he said. “Pakistan is one of those countries where if you have pull you can get people locked up.” read more