Dem Leader Dodges Questions About Busted IT Employee
WASHINGTON — House Ethics Committee ranking member Ted Deutch fled from The Daily Caller and his office refused to respond to emailed questions about his knowledge of former House IT employee Imran Awan, who is now charged with multiple counts of bank fraud and previously worked for the Florida lawmaker and other Democrats.
Last week, TheDC asked Deutch about the IT staffers as he walked down the steps of the Capitol, but Deutch motioned to his middle school daughter being with him and complained that he could not answer the question at the time.
“You know as much as I do,” Deutch said.
TheDC pressed further, but Deutch said his office would be available to respond to any other questions. (RELATED: House IT Aides Fear Suspects In Hill Breach Are Blackmailing Members With Their Own Data)
Deutch’s office had been previously contacted by the The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Luke Rosiak about the issue multiple times since May, but no response had been given. Another email to Deutch’s communications director Jason Atterman was sent after the Florida congressman refused to talk about what he knew about Awan last week.
That email was not responded to as well.
On Monday, TheDC faced Deutch again and asked about what he knew about Awan and he refused to talk about it once more.
TheDCNF previously reported in a series of pieces that Awan and three relatives were all colleagues who worked for House Democrats as IT aides and were investigated by Capitol Hill Police for breaching congressional computers without permission.
TheDCNF later reported that congressional IT staffer sources revealed Democratic members were intensely loyal to the IT staffers under investigation and some wondered if these members were being blackmailed from the contents of the emails the IT staffers had access to.
Not all Democrats who previously employed Awan avoided TheDC, however.
New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries told TheDC, “We had instant communication with Capitol Police about any potential breaches and nothing has been called to our attention as it relates to all of this. I can’t speak to any other offices, but they haven’t sounded any alarm bells with respect to personal information or sensitive information that may have been misappropriated from our office.”
The House Ethics Committee, which Deutch helps lead, has yet to get involved in the matter, and some members suggest that law enforcement should start with the Pakistani IT staffers and then seriously look at members of Congress who employed them.
“I think members acted in an irresponsible fashion and perhaps in an unethical fashion. There’s a real question as to why you would pay people and shared staff that much money individually or cumulatively and how these individuals at such a young age had such a claim to do the service that they clearly weren’t doing,” California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa told TheDC Tuesday night.
Issa added, “[Law enforcement] should start with the criminals and work backwards.”