Every one of the 44 House Democrats who hired Pakistan-born IT aides who later allegedly made “unauthorized access” to congressional data appears to have chosen to exempt them from background checks, according to congressional documents.
All of them appear to have waived background checks on Imran Awan and his family members, even though the family of server administrators could collectively read all the emails and files of 1 in 5 House Democrats, and despite background checks being recommended for such positions, according to an inspector general’s report. The House security policy requires offices to fill out a form attesting that they’ve initiated background checks, but it also includes a loophole allowing them to simply say that another member vouched for them.
Among the red flags in Abid’s background were a $1.1 million bankruptcy; six lawsuits against him or a company he owned; and at least three misdemeanor convictions including for DUI and driving on a suspended license, according to Virginia court records. Public court records show that Imran and Abid operated a car dealership referred to as CIA that took $100,000 from an Iraqi government official who is a fugitive from U.S. authorities. Numerous members of the family were tied to cryptic LLCs such as New Dawn 2001, operated out of Imran’s residence, Virginia corporation records show. Imran was the subject of repeated calls to police by multiple women and had multiple misdemeanor convictions for driving offenses, according to court records.
If a screening had caught those, what officials say happened next might have been averted. The House inspector general reported on Sept. 20, 2016, that shortly before the election members of the group were logging into servers of members they didn’t work for, logging in using congressmen’s personal usernames, uploading data off the House network, and behaving in ways that suggested “nefarious purposes” and that “steps are being taken to conceal their activity.”
Read more at American Action News.