Earlier this week, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton got called to a meeting with Judge Amit P. Mehta about a cryptic delay. There hasn’t been an update so it appears that he’s not allowed to talk about it.
“The DOJ’s handling of the Awan Brothers case has long been an issue of concern and now we are expected to believe some secret investigation prevents the public from knowing the full truth about this scandal. We are skeptical.”
For over a year, Judicial Watch has been trying to force the Department of Justice to turn over records that would shed light on a big mystery. How did Pakistan native Imran Awan and his family get handed the keys to the Democrat’s electronic kingdom?
Allegedly, the Awan brothers “were not given background checks before being given access to highly sensitive government information and no explanations have been given as to why.”
In late 2018, the watchdog group filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI, when the feds failed to answer two separate FOIA requests for information related to the Awan family.
Imran Awan, his brothers, and a friend, all were banned from the House computer network. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was wrapped around Awan’s finger and nearly two dozen others on Capitol Hill used his services.
They were busted in February of 2017 after the Inspector General for the House reported Imran Awan was “an ongoing and serious risk to the House of Representatives, possibly threatening the integrity of our information systems.” Also, the IG wrote, a server full of crucial evidence was “missing.” Logs from the various supposedly secure servers indicated “unauthorized access.”
Several powerful Democrats allowed the Awan family to walk off with a mountain of computer equipment, mostly laptops. The IG discovered “the procurement records were falsified,” to cover it up.
All the devices were allegedly stuffed to bursting with America’s secrets and mailed home to Pakistan. Not a single lawmaker would press charges.
Most of those involved with Imran Awan fired him as soon as the Inspector General’s report was released, but not Schultz. She had him working right up until the time he was arrested in July of 2017, while boarding a plane to Pakistan.
He was arrested and later pleaded guilty to bank fraud, Not a single charge of treason, espionage or even unauthorized access to data can be prosecuted because he was the official computer guy.
In August of 2019, The DOJ promised the court that “it would begin producing records by November 5, 2019.” They didn’t. On November 13, they claimed that the department was having “technical difficulties” and then sent an email recently saying they still couldn’t comply. Sorry, they said, “difficulties with the production remain.”
Both sides had to file a “joint status report” with the court to outline where they stood as far as readiness for trial. In their half, Judicial Watch noted that the DOJ “claimed in a phone call that it was now unable to produce any records to either of the FOIA requests.”
The reason they gave was “because the agency was waiting for some unspecified action by Judge [Tanya S.] Chutkan in some other matter so as to avoid having to produce records in this case.”
The Justice Department confirmed that in their half, telling the court that Judge Chutkan is “presiding over a related sealed criminal matter” that prohibits the government from releasing the requested information.
In court last month, U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta wasn’t pleased to hear it. U.S. Attorney Benton Peterson told him that DOJ was set to release a “cache of documents,” but that he was informed of a “sealing order” in the case and that he “couldn’t discuss the sealing order.”
Judge Mehta pointed out that “typically when criminal cases have concluded, the materials become public,” and asked, “the seal Judge Chutkan has ordered, is that itself sealed?” Yep. “That’s under seal as well,” Peterson responded.
Mehta ordered the feds to explain it all by January 10 and provide Judicial Watch with “some details about the delay.” The DOJ did come up with an answer, but they sealed it. Only the judge can see what they turned in, that leaves Judicial Watch and the public still in the dark.
“The cover-up of the Awan Brothers Democratic IT scandal shows the FBI and DOJ’s penchant for dishonesty isn’t just limited to FISA abuse,” Fitton declared.