Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz says she kept an IT staffer who was under investigation on the payroll anyway because of ‘grave concerns’ he was being subject to ‘ethnic profiling.’
According to dailymail.co.uk:
Imran Awan got arrested at a Virginia airport las week and charged with bank fraud. He was attempting to fly to Pakistan, where his wife had already flown, after having wired hundreds of thousands of dollars there earlier this year.
The feds charged him with fraudulently obtaining a home improvement loan on a rental property. He had already been under investigation for property theft, but Wasserman Schultz says she kept him on staff because the charges were unproven.
‘I had grave concerns about his due process rights being violated,’ she told the Florida Sun Suntinal.
‘When their investigation was reviewed with me, I was presented with no evidence of anything that they were being investigated for. And so that, in me, gave me great concern that his due process rights were being violated – that there were racial and ethnic profiling concerns that I had,’ she said.
Other lawmakers who had Irman as a shared employee fired him after they were informed of the charges and he lost his access to the House information system.
Wasserman Schultz kept him on anyway. Her actions have drawn scrutiny – including a retweet from President Trump – because of her role as chair of the Democratic National Committee when it got hacked. She relinquished her post after the breech.
‘I believe that I did the right thing, and I would do it again,’ Wasserman Schultz said. ‘There are times when you can’t be afraid to stand alone, and you have to stand up for what’s right.’
‘It would have been easier for me to just fire him,’ she said.
Imran Awan, 37, was arrested by the FBI at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on Monday as he attempted to fly to Qatar then Pakistan.
Authorities had been watching him for months as part of an investigation into information and equipment theft.
His wife, Hina Alvi, and two other relatives, Jamal and Abid Awan, were fired as a result of the probe in March but Imran was kept on by Wasserman Schultz.
On Monday, he was arrested on suspicion of banking fraud for allegedly taking out a $165,000 loan with his wife on a house that they did not live in and sending the money back to Pakistan.
Wasserman Schultz, who tangled with the Capitol Police chief at a hearing over a laptop, said she wasn’t trying to hide anything and has agreed to let police look at a laptop that Imran lost that was later recovered.
She went after Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa at a May hearing about the laptop.
‘If a Member loses equipment and it is found by your staff and identified as that member’s equipment and the member is not associated with any case, it is supposed to be returned. Yes or no?’ she asked, the Daily Caller reported. ‘My understanding is the the Capitol Police is not able to confiscate Members’ equipment when the Member is not under investigation,’ she said.
And she stressed his roots in the U.S.
‘He is from Pakistan. … He’s an American, a naturalized American citizen. His children are natural born citizens. His wife is a naturalized American citizen. And I mean when you’re trying to flee, you don’t fill out a form with your employer and go on unpaid leave,’ she said.
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