The watchdog group Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust (FACT) named Democratic Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz among the “most ethically challenged” individuals on Capitol Hill.
FACT based their condemnation of Wasserman-Shultz on her role in the House IT scandal.
Earlier this year, a federal grand jury indicted two of Wasserman Schultz’s former IT aides, Imran Awan and Hina Alvi, for multiple counts of conspiracy.
The Daily Caller reported in August:
The FBI arrested Awan at Dulles International Airport July 24 as he was preparing to board a flight to Pakistan. When his wife Alvi left the U.S. for Pakistan in March, federal authorities found more than $12,000 in cash hidden in a suitcase. She had withdrawn the couple’s three children from local schools and does not intend to return to the U.S., according to the FBI.
“Defendants AWAN and ALVI did unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly conspire, combine, confederate, and agree with each other to commit offenses against the United States,” including bank fraud, false statements, and unlawful monetary transactions, the indictment said.
Not only did Wasserman Schultz refuse to condemn Awan while he under investigation and banned from the House computer network, she continued to support him.
Awan was finally arrested by the FBI as he attempted to flee the country to Pakistan. He’d wired some $300,000 there and it seems Wasserman Schultz intended to send him money as well.
FACT took notice of the congresswoman’s actions and filed a complaint this summer.
She even shamelessly tried to take Aswan’s laptop, whose hard drive contained massive evidence against him, from Capitol Police. She was obviously intending on covering up Awan’s crimes.
The Daily Caller reports:
FACT filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics in July after Wasserman Schultz continued employing Awan for months after Capitol Police said he was under investigation, and even after he was banned from the House network. Wasserman Schultz seemingly planned to continue paying Awan even after he moved back to his native country of Pakistan.
The Democratic congresswoman also tried to intimidate Capitol Police into handing over a laptop that she indicated belonged to her. She later changed her story and said the laptop belonged to Awan. The laptop’s hard drive has played a central role in the legal case against the former Democratic IT aides.
Republican Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis said in August that the House IT scandal, which remains ongoing, is “one of the all-time congressional scandals in the last 30 years.”
Wasserman Schultz may have taken second place for the “Worst Ethics Violators of 2017,” but the number one slot went to “The Unknown Members of Congress Who Are Tied to Sexual Harassment Settlement Funds,” making Wasserman Schultz the worst named violator of the year.
According to FACT’s complaint, Wasserman Schultz refused to remove Awan from House payroll and compensated Awan with taxpayer funds for several months – even though he was barred from the House computer system which would prevent him from performing any reasonable IT work. In fact, Wasserman Schultz only fired Awan after he was arrested on bank fraud charges attempting to flee the country the morning of July 25, 2017. Wasserman Schultz is in clear violation of House Ethics Rules as Members are directly responsible for ensuring their staff are only paid for official public work.
Congratulations, congresswoman. You clearly deserved this.