The pressure is mounting on Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. There’s growing sentiment that she should explain why she kept an IT aide on the payroll for months even after a criminal investigation was revealed back in February.
Wasserman Schultz, a congresswoman from Florida, led the Democratic National Committee until last year. She recently terminated Imran Awan’s “part-time” job after he was arrested at Dulles International Airport while trying to flee the country and fly to Pakistan. He was charged with bank fraud.
Awan and other former IT aides for House Democrats have been on investigators’ radar for months over concerns about “double-billing,” equipment theft, and improper access to sensitive computer systems. Many lawmakers in D.C. fired Awan in March, but Schultz kept him on even though he was barred from the House IT network.
“I think she should testify,” Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told conservative radio host Dana Loesch on Monday. “If I had a staff member, an IT staff member, who had access to all of our data and all of our infrastructure and he had come under investigation … you better believe I would be cooperating.”
Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., also said on Monday that Schultz should testify, though no such hearing has been formally called at this point. “We have to investigate how our systems may have been compromised, and that may involve putting people in the [witness] chair,” he told “Fox & Friends.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary, said last week “there should be a thorough investigation” on the issue.
A complaint was filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics on Monday by The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT). The claim urged an investigation, questioning why Schultz kept paying Awan after he was barred from the House computer system, noting “Members are directly responsible for ensuring their staff is only paid for official public work.”
Wasserman Schultz issued this statement: “After details of the investigation were reviewed with us, my office was provided no evidence to indicate that laws had been broken, which over time, raised troubling concerns about due process, fair treatment and potential ethnic and religious profiling. Upon learning of his arrest, he was terminated.”
In fairness to Schultz firing someone just because they are under investigation could be considered dubious but, it’s telling that all other congressional offices that Awan worked for fired him immediately.
What do you think about the mounting pressure for the Florida congresswoman to testify?
Credit: Fox News