Federal agents believe the Justice Department is meddling in the FBI’s efforts to expand the Imran Awan and Hina Alvi investigation in what appears to be a blatant attempt to shield Democratic members of Congress entangled in the burgeoning criminal case.
That’s because the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia — Channing Phillips — who is running point on the case is likewise a Democrat, appointed by President Barack Obama. Phillips was appointed just months before the grand jury convened to weigh evidence in the Awan case.
FBI agents feel they have amassed crucial evidence to expand the Awan case into a wider investigation of possible espionage and blackmail but the Bureau is getting push back from the US Attorney’s Office in D.C., federal sources confirmed.
President Donald Trump has nominated Jesse Liu as the new US Attorney to replace Phillips, the Obama holdover. However, Sen. Chuck Schumer and senate Democrats have stalled Liu’s confirmation. This has provided Schumer de facto control of the Awan investigation which otherwise could implicate dozens of his fellow Congressional Democrats, including Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former chairwoman of the DNC. Wasserman hired the Awans as IT specialists and shared the four Awans with other Democrats for classified computer work.
In essence, Schumer can currently dictate whether any charges are brought against members of Congress linked to Awan-related crimes, sources said. Until either Liu is confirmed or Phillips is forced out by President Trump.
Awan and Alvi, husband and wife, were indicted on bank fraud and financial crimes on August 17, but federal agents believe this case is much larger than mortgage-related crimes. There is growing evidence, for instance the Awans could have sold classified information to foreign governments outside the United States. Then there is growing talk that the Awans may have blackmailed Congress with damaging emails and photos. FBI sources also believe someone in Congress tipped the Awans off months before their grand jury indictment.
This case has dragged on because it would expose 40 Democrat House and Senate members as part of the espionage case. The main fight is over the incriminating laptop belonging to Wasserman Schultz. Cadres of lawyers are trying to prevent the obviously criminal revealing laptop from getting a look at:
The affidavit from the FBI used to attain the indictment very clearly laid out their alleged bank fraud and related crimes. If this were only a case about bank fraud, however, U.S. attorneys wouldn’t need the data on the laptop or the other evidence left in the congressional building for a conviction. They could just press on with only the evidence they need for those charges.
As anyone following this case knows, there is a lot more here than possible bank fraud. Nevertheless, though Capitol Police have been investigating, along with the FBI, for well over a year the only charges filed so far are these bank fraud and related charges—even though prosecutors and defense attorneys are wrestling over evidence that appears to have to do with other things besides bank fraud.
Meanwhile, the media has mostly ignored the much more salacious elements of this case; quite possibly because the 40-plus members of Congress the Awans and their associates worked for were all Democrats.
For these reasons and more this case feels like a ticking bomb. It’s speculation to say just what it’s loaded with, as everything from massive procurement thefts to espionage have been mentioned in relation to this investigation, but it does appear that a lot of people are begging for time to defuse it before it goes boom!
h/t Natura Naturans