Debbie Wasserman Schultz is once again at the center of controversy following the arrest of a former IT aide who was paid exorbitant sums by her office and the offices of several other members of the House Democratic Caucus.
On Monday, federal authorities apprehended 37-year-old Amran Awan as he attempted to board a plane bound for Lahore, Pakistan. The Pakistani-born staffer, who once ran IT services for numerous members of the House Democratic caucus including Schultz, was detained on charges of bank fraud, before being released under the condition that he wear a GPS monitor and abide by a court-ordered curfew.
Awan was fired by Wasserman Schultz only after he had been apprehended by federal authorities, despite the fact that he had been suspected of wrongdoing as far back as February.
Although he was initially detained for bank fraud, Awan, along several members of his family including two brothers and their spouses, are at the center of a broader scandal involving activities they engaged in while employed as IT staffers for Wasserman Schultz and several other members of the House Democratic caucus. As we reporter earlier in the week, the FBI had seized smashed hard drives from the former home of Awan, according to reporting by The Daily Caller. The seizure was part of an ongoing criminal probe by Capitol Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation into "serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network".
In a surprising twist in the story, Awan's case could end up in the office of someone very close to Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Her brother Steven Wasserman.
Steven Wasserman is an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, who, based on his LinkedIn profile, works with the violent crime and narcotics trafficking section of the office's criminal division. Awan's case could fall to Wasserman and his colleagues as, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office's website, the section in which he works handles "short-term bank and credit card fraud."
The coincidence raises ethical questions as to whether or not it would be appropriate for an Assistant U.S. Attorney to participate in a case that potentially involves the office of a family member, or if it would proper for him to excuse himself should such a case fall in his lap.