Pakistani IT administrator Abid Awan (a.k.a. "Omar"), who was accused of improperly accessing Congressional computer networks with his brothers Imran and Jamal - is suspected of stealing tens of thousands of dollars of dollars of computer equipment in a "theft scheme," reports the Daily Caller citing multiple House staffers with knowledge of the situation.
According to a House document and interviews with Congressional staffers, Rep. Yvette Clarke's deputy chief, Wendy Anderson, walked in on Abid rummaging through the congresswoman's office "with new iPods and other equipment strewn around the room."
The Caller obtained a letter from House Chief Administrative Officer Phil Kiko, who testified in April that "the House IG discovered evidence of procurement fraud and irregularities [and] numerous violations of House security policies" by the Awan family - including submitting suspicious invoices to bill equipment to House offices.
In a letter written from Kiko and Seargeant-At-Armms Paul Irving to the House Administration, Anderson said that walking in on Awan "looked like Christmas with Apple TV's, iPods, etc."
Coming in on a Saturday and finding Omar in the office with equipment everywhere. She stated, ‘it looked like Christmas with Apple TV’s, iPods, etc. scattered around the room.’ She stated that Omar told her ‘these items were not her office’s equipment but they belonged to another office.’ She told him to get them out of her member’s office. -House Chief Administrative Office Phil Kiko
Anderson ordered Abid out of Rep. Clarke's office, and then told Capitol Hill investigators that she suspected Abid and Clarke's chief of staff, Shelly Davis, were working together on a "theft scheme." Anderson also pushed for Abid's firing, however that did not occur until six months after Clarke acknowledged that $120,000 in equipment had gone missing - and not until after House investigators independently announced a review that might catch financial discrepancies.
House Chief Administrative Officer Phil Kiko testified in a public hearing in April that “the House IG discovered evidence of procurement fraud and irregularities [and] numerous violations of House security policies” by the Awans. The alleged procurement fraud included submitting suspicious invoices to bill equipment to House offices. -Daily Caller
Even then, reports The Caller, "Anderson told investigators she believed another top staffer in Clarke's office was subverting their efforts." After blowing the whistle on Abid, Anderson left her position four months later, taking a job with another congressional office.
Abid — known in the office as Omar — and his brothers, fellow IT workers Imran Awan and Jamal Awan, are suspected of making “unauthorized access” to congressional servers during the 2016 election and of running a theft scheme, according to the House Inspector General (IG). Together, the family had access to all the emails and files of 1 in 5 House Democrats. -Daily Caller
When Abid was eventually interviewed about the missing equipment, he blamed Clarke's staffers for some - and claimed that the office never received other equipment, according to a presentation by the House IG dated September 20, 2016 which notes.
75 pieces of equipment with a purchase price of $118,416 were recently written off the House inventory for a member because one of the subjects could not produce them
- Shared employee stated that the items were never received, shouldn’t have been inventoried, or the staff lost the equipment
- However, equipment could not be on inventory or have asset tag unless it had arrived in office and EIN [Equipment Identification Number, a form that must be signed for a piece of equipment to be paid for] had been signed
- Missing equipment includes laptops, iPads, TVs, video conferencing equipment, and computers
While Clarke has refused to discuss the Awan case, she does frequently describe Donald Trump's presidency as the product of an "illegally hacked, illegitimate election."
Anderson was promoted to Clarke's chief of staff soon after walking in on Abid Awan and the electronics near Christmas 2015, replacing Davis on February 11, 2016.
Once Anderson became responsible for the office’s finances, she found that Clarke’s office had for years been ordering abnormal quantities of equipment, much with seemingly dubious business value, she later told House investigators, according to multiple congressional officials with knowledge of the probe who spoke with TheDCNF. After some investigating, Anderson told investigators she believed Davis was working with Abid to steal taxpayer funds, the officials said. -Daily Caller
“She thought that Shelley and Omar had too tight of a relationship,” one said. “She’d been going through old email and could see that it basically smacked of Omar was ordering stuff for Shelley and there was no business reason.” Anderson gave House officials copies of those emails, the source told the Caller.
“She said to Abid, ‘I want to do an inventory of the office,’ and he couldn’t come up with $120,000 [in equipment], so he said, ‘Oh I don’t know, people lost it,” said the source.
An attorney for Abid's brother Imran, Aaron Parr Page, told the Daily Caller's Luke Rosiak last October that “An outgoing chief of staff who — I don’t remember the guy’s name off the top of my head, but I think there was potentially some issues there… There may be cases on Capitol Hill of other people — certainly not Imran — who are enriching themselves who are taking devices.”
By April 2016, Chief Administrative Officer Kiko independently noticed financial anomalies in multiple congressional offices that employed Abid. He told the Administration committee, and by September the committee’s top Democratic staffer, Jamie Fleet, told employing offices that authorities would be auditing financial records connected to the Awan family, a committee source told TheDCNF.
It was only then that Clarke’s office told the committee of the circumstances surrounding the missing equipment, and House authorities began working with Clarke’s office to investigate the Awans’ activities. -Daily Caller
Abid had passwords to Clarke's personal and professional accounts - including her credit cards. In order to prevent him from retaliating, days before he was fired, House security personnel changed Clarke's passwords as well as the lock on a storage locker she utilized.
“That night, after they told him that he was fired, Wendy went to the office late at night and Clarke’s office door was a little open and she felt like someone was on the other side of the door. She ran out of the office frightened,” the staffer told TheDCNF.
Then, in early 2017, Abid was hired by Democratic Congressmembers Stephanie Murphy (FL), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE) and Darren Soto (FL) - however Awan and his family was banned from the House network in February 2017.
The Department of Justice has not charged Davis or Abid with any crime. TheDCNF has no way of corroborating whether what Anderson told investigators is true. However, the voluminous evidence the House IG possessed, combined with the lack of charges, has led some Republicans to allege a cover-up. -Daily Caller
“The FBI has had the opportunity to have those invoices presented to them, and each time they have instructed, ‘Don’t bring any of those documents,'” said House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX) last week on the House Floor - quoting what the FBI told him about the case. “They continue to report … ‘We’ve still found no evidence’ … Why? Because they’ve instructed, ‘We don’t want to see those documents.'”