DAILY CALLER: In March 2017, FBI agents were tailing House of Representatives IT aides suspected of hacking Congress, and apprehended one at the airport trying to make a hasty exit to Pakistan. She refused to speak with them, and a search revealed that she was carrying an apparently illegal amount of cash.
The FBI allowed Hina Alvi, wife of Imran Awan, to board the plane anyway — then filed paperwork saying agents believed she had no intention of returning to the U.S.
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. READ MORE