After getting arrested Monday night at Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia while attempting to flee the country on a flight to Qatar, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’ IT staffer, according to Conservative Review, has decided to hire a lawyer with longstanding connections to the Clinton family for legal help.
Chris Gowen, a founding partner at Gowen, Rhoades, Winograd and Silva, apparently did a little bit of everything for the Clintons over the course of multiple years including working in the Clinton White House, helping President Bill Clinton write his book, “My Life,” and serving on Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign. Per Gowen’s bio:
Mr. Gowen left the Public Defender’s office to work for former President William Jefferson Clinton and then-Senator Hillary Clinton. Chris was a fact checker for President Clinton’s memoir, My Life. He also served as a traveling aid for President Clinton’s national and international trips. Chris finished his tenure with the Clintons by directing the advance operations for then-Senator Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign.
Another biography, published on the American University website, says Gowen worked with several other controversial Clinton projects, including The Clinton Global Initiative, The Clinton Foundation, and The Clinton Health Access Initiative.
Shortly after Awan’s arrest, Gowen immediately jumped into the fray and hit the ground running with allegations that Awan was a victim of Islamophobia. He labeled Awan’s arrest as part of “a right-wing media-driven prosecution by a United States Attorney’s Office that wants to prosecute people for working while Muslim”…it’s almost as if the words are coming straight from Hillary’s mouth.
As we noted last night, Imran Awan has been charged with bank fraud but it is unclear whether that charge is just a placeholder for other charges that are yet to come. While details are scarce, media reports have alleged that Awan and his brothers potentially ran a procurement scheme in which they bought equipment, then overcharged various House members that employed their IT firm. Meanwhile, some congressional technology aides have alleged that the Awan’s were blackmailing representatives based on the contents of their emails and files, due to the fact that these representatives have displayed unwavering and intense loyalty towards the former aides.
As background, Imran was first employed in 2004 by former Democrat Rep. Robert Wexler (FL) as an “information technology director”, before he began working in Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office in 2005.
The family was paid extremely well, with Imran Awan being paid nearly $2 million working as an IT support staffer for House Democrats since 2004. Abid Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, were each paid more than $1 million working for House Democrats. In total, since 2003, the family has collected nearly $5 million.
In total, Imran’s firm was employed by 31 Democrats in Congress, some of whom held extremely sensitive positions on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
— Nick Short ?? (@PoliticalShort) May 22, 2017
Of course, one of the most intriguing parts of the Awan narrative is precisely why former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (DWS) decided to keep him on her taxpayer-funded payroll right up until his arrest yesterday and whether that decision had anything to do with the whole DNC / Hillary email scandals that erupted last summer.
Along those lines, RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel posed the following questions to DWS earlier this morning…
Debbie Wasserman Shultz needs to answer mounting questions about her staffer’s questionable and illegal actions… pic.twitter.com/2SRZIGiBAa
— GOP (@GOP) July 26, 2017
…and appeared on Fox Business to discuss DWS’ curious decisions with regards to Awan (forward to the 4:00 minute mark in the video below for the relevant discussion).
“[Wasserman Schultz] kept him on her staff. He was a taxpayer-funded government employee until yesterday when she finally fired him. We need to figure out why he’s under criminal investigation and we’re not hearing that across the country right now.”
“We have to get to the bottom of this, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz has obstructed at every level on something that affects potentially our national security. We are not hearing the Democrats talk about it at all. Where’s Debbie Wasserman Schultz?”
A preliminary hearing for Mr. Awan is scheduled for August 21.