We have covered the saga of the Awan brothers debacle extensively over the last few months but recent developments have escalated the situation dramatically. This has led us and many more to ask why Trump (or his advocates) has not pivoted to this narrative.
Free Market Shooter blog's Duane Norman dives in...
Some background from early February:
While most know about the Yemen raid, most do not know about the dismissal of the three Awan brothers, Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan. On February 2nd, they were abruptly removed from their positions of managing information technology for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Though they were initially suspected merely of stealing equipment, a connection with the previously-hacked computers of Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) revealed something far more sinister:
Three members of the intelligence panel and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs were among the dozens of members who employed the suspects on a shared basis. The two committees deal with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.
However, there have been a number of developments since then, especially in the past few days. Imran Awan was arrested at Washington-Dulles International Airport trying to leave the US, but only after he transferred approximately $300,000 to Pakistan, and crushed hard drives from his former residence were turned over to authorities:
Feds/USCP bust Hse IT staffer Imran Awan & charge him with multiple counts of bank fraud as part of Hse IT procurement scandal— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 25, 2017
Feds/USCP picked up Imran Awan at Dulles Aiport last night as he was "trying to leave the country." Has been arraigned. Surrendered passport— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 25, 2017
FBI agents seized smashed computer hard drives from the home of Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s information technology (IT) administrator, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation.
Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s top information technology (IT) aide was arrested Monday attempting to board a flight to Pakistan after wiring $283,000 from the Congressional Federal Credit Union to that country.
He attempted to leave the country hours after The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group revealed that he is the target of an FBI investigation, and the FBI apprehended him at the airport.
Credit union officials permitted the wire to go through, and his wife has already fled the country to Pakistan, after police confronted her at the airport and found $12,000 in cash hidden in her suitcase but did not stop her from boarding, court documents show.
“On January 18, 2017 at 12:09 pm, an international wire transfer request form was submitted [at the Congressional Federal Credit Union] at the Longworth House Office Building in the District of Columbia, in the amount of $283,000.00, to two individuals in Faisalabad, Pakistan,” according to an affidavit obtained by TheDCNF.
And while it is to be expected that mainstream media is all but ignoring the Awan story…
As of Thursday morning, both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have yet to report on the growing scandal surrounding several IT staffers employed by House Democrats, including Wasserman Schultz’s top IT aide, Imran Awan.
Other establishment media outlets are similarly refusing to tell the public about the growing scandal. MSNBC has given zero on-air coverage to the scandal. ABC News and NBC News’ national broadcasts have similarly given zero coverage to the scandal. CNN’s only on-air coverage of the scandal so far was a brief mention during the 6 a.m. ET hour Thursday.
…it is more surprising to see President Trump staying relatively silent on the whole affair. In fact, his only “commentary” on the matter has been a retweet from today of a Townhall.com article covering mainstream media downplaying the whole incident:
ABC, NBC, And CBS Pretty Much Bury IT Scandal Engulfing Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Office https://t.co/PjbZ2TGIKb— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) July 27, 2017
So, why hasn’t Trump called out the story of the Awan brothers? Up until his retweet this morning, I considered the (highly unlikely) possibility that he was merely unaware of the incident… but his retweet has clarified that he is indeed well aware of it.
This leads me to believe there are several possible reasons why Trump hasn’t discussed it more:
- Since it is an ongoing investigation, Trump could be waiting until all the facts are uncovered and/or charges are filed before saying anything publicly
- Trump could be playing politics with the situation, and waiting for the right moment to discuss it and call out the mainstream media for ignoring it
- He is deliberately ignoring the story, because he knows it is just a big “nothing burger” (as President, he would have access to far more information concerning what is really there and what is not)
- Some combination of 1) and 2)
Of all these possibilities, 3) is the most unlikely; seeing as how Imran Awan sent $300,000 to Pakistan and tried to flee the country almost immediately after smashed hard drives were recovered from his former residence, Trump must know he is hiding something significant. 2) alone seems unlikely as well; if something was there, you would think Trump would jump on reminding the mainstream media about it at every possible opportunity.
The most logical conclusion is that Trump knows that the investigation is ongoing, thus he is keeping quiet so the investigators can do their job and learn as much about the Awan brothers as possible. However, it is worth acknowledging that the Trump administration could spur the investigation into high gear, and press significant charges in short order.
Regardless, Trump has (finally) acknowledged the scandal publicly, via his retweet, so you would think that we will hear something sooner or later from Trump about this. As Zerohedge has articulated, the media response would certainly be different if the shoe was on the other foot:
Of course, if Republicans and/or members of the Trump administration hired foreign-born IT specialists who were suspected of committing a laundry list of federal crimes and then smashed a bunch of hard drives just before skipping town…we’re sure the media would still gloss right over it in much the same way they’re doing for the the Democrats in this instance.
So, unless the highly unlikely is true, and this is a big “nothing burger” of a story… sooner or later, you should expect Trump to jump on it. Because there is far too much smoke coming from the Awan brothers for there not to be some significant fire behind it.