Politics

Rep. DeSantis Wants Congress to Investigate Wasserman Schultz

Says arrested former IT contractor had access to ‘some very sensitive information’

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., cut ties with Imran Awan after his arrest last week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ron DeSantis told “Fox & Friends” Monday  said Congress should investigate Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s employment of a man charged with submitting a fraudulent loan application and potentially scamming his House employers. 

Asked if Wasserman Schultz should be forced to testify DeSantis responded, “I think it's questionable what they were doing during that time,” referring to Imran Awan and other members of his family. “We would have to investigate that. Of course, they had access to intelligence and House Foreign Affairs Committee members’ personal email and IT accounts. There is some very sensitive information on there. This could be a significant security breach.”

Around February, unnamed lawmakers alleged Awan and other family members, who were employed since 2004 by more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers to provide IT services, were running some kind of scam, the details of which have not been revealed. Awan’s lawyer and congressional staff described the work as fairly low level, including setting up computers, phones, and passwords.

Lawmakers who contracted with Awan cut ties as the investigation went on. Wasserman Schultz was the last to do so, after Awan was arrested last week. She said that until the arrest she had been provided “no evidence to indicate that laws had been broken,” and was concerned about “ethnic and religious profiling” in the case.

President Donald Trump added his support to the story, retweeting an article last week accusing media outlets of “bury[ing]” the “IT scandal engulfing” Wasserman Schultz’s office.

Wasserman Schultz makes for a popular target among conservatives due to her involvement in the Democratic National Committee email breach during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. WikiLeaks published internal emails showing Wasserman Schultz and the DNC was sabotaging Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign and propping up Hillary Clinton’s to win the Democratic nomination. Wasserman Schultz later resigned as DNC chairwoman.

Intelligence agencies concluded Russia-related hackers broke into the email system by sending Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta a fake email from Google requesting his password.

Awan’s lawyer said he thought Awan had been cleared for the trip to Pakistan before the flight. He has also denied any spying or intelligence-related wrongdoing.

“He didn't even have a security clearance,” the lawyer said, calling allegations from conservative media “completely utterly ridiculous.”

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