U.S. Capitol Police are getting “the kind of help they need from other sources” in their criminal investigation of five Pakistani former information technology aides to dozens of House Democrats, according to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
“I wont speak to the nature of their investigation, but they’re getting the kind of technical assistance they need to do that, this is under an active criminal investigation, their capabilities are pretty strong but they’re also able to go and get the kind of help they need from other sources,” the Wisconsin Republican said at the end of a late Wednesday news conference in Washington, D.C.
Ryan provided no further details about the investigation, but his inclusion of “other sources” could refer to digital and evidentiary analytical capabilities possessed by law enforcement agencies like the FBI and various executive branch intelligence assets.
He was referring the probe of Imran Awan, his brothers Abid and Jamal, and two others who provided IT services for Democrats on the House intelligence, foreign affairs and homeland security committees. Their positions gave the five under investigation access to “everything” in the employing members’ IT systems, including their email and office documents.
As the Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group reported Wednesday, the three Awans, as well as one of their wives and a business associate — who were also on multiple House payrolls — have collected nearly $4 million in taxpayer funds since 2010.
U.S. Capitol Police named the five as subjects of a criminal probe Feb. 2, and banned them from the complex’s computer networks. But members of Congress for whom they worked have downplayed their access or publicly ignored the issue.
The comment was Ryan’s first about a scandal that broke weeks ago and involves the potential compromise of some of the most sensitive communications and documents held in congressional IT systems.
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