Federal investigators are worried that the shady IT staffer at the center of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ widening scandal may have sold intelligence to foreign governments, particularly Russia and Pakistan, reports the New York Post.
According to officials, the government is currently probing whether Imran Awan, Schultz’ top computer technician, had access to sensitive emails and other communications and then sold that information to foreign intelligence agencies.
The investigation of Awan began in April of 2016, when Congressional staffers noticed several “irregularities” in the Capitol’s computer equipment and billing information. What began as a suspected case of fraud is now spiraling into a “massive scandal” according to one government aide.
Authorities now believe Awan had access to secret material, and moved that information from government-owned servers to private devices, possibly with the intent to distribute the classified information.
Imran Awan was arrested while trying to flee the country in late July after funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to his family in Pakistan. The shady IT staffer had been previously barred from the Capitol in February, but remained on Wasserman Schultz’ payroll until the time of his apprehension.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz stands by her decision to keep Awan as an employee, saying he was being persecuted because he is a Muslim.
“I believe that I did the right thing, and I would do it again,” Wasserman Schultz said in an interview with the Sun Sentinel. “There are times when you can’t be afraid to stand alone, and you have to stand up for what’s right.”