Legacy media appear to be ignoring a House of Representatives IT scandal. Details emerging sound like they’re ripped from the pages of a spy thriller. Despite intrigue, most of the coverage is coming from conservative websites. Politico has done at least one story on it, however.
“Rogue congressional staffers took $100,000 from an Iraqi politician while they had administrator-level access to the House of Representatives’ computer network, according to court documents examined by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.”
The staffers include three brothers: Imran, Abid, and Jamal Awan. All were on congressional payrolls, and in a very unusual turn, two of the brothers’ (Iran and Abid) wives “also began receiving congressional paychecks.”
In an earlier story also based on The Daily Caller coverage, the investigation was described:
“Five House employees are under criminal investigation amid allegations that they stole equipment from more than 20 member offices and accessed House IT systems without lawmakers’ knowledge.”
Do we assume equipment was the only contraband, or was data also included?
This story broke shortly after President Donald Trump was elected.
TDC includes in its latest story mention of “an Iraqi politician” who allegedly loaned the brothers a large amount of money. That politician is identified as Dr. Ali al-Attar.
And mention of that name opens another new dimension to the mystery.
Web searches revealed a doctor by the same name was partner to another doctor facing a civil suit involving false insurance claims. The same name appears on a list of physicians sanctioned in 2009 by the state of Maryland. The name appears again in an article at conservative website The American Conservative expressing criticism of the US war in Iraq:
“And just as Ahmed Chalabi eventually turned out to be something akin to a double agent, feathering his own nest while providing U.S. intelligence to the Iranians, there is also a back story to the Wolfowitz group. The Iraqis were headed by one Dr. Ali A. al-Attar, born in Baghdad in 1963, a 1989 graduate of the American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine. He subsequently emigrated to the United States and set up a practice in internal medicine in Greenbelt, Maryland, a suburb of Washington D.C. Al-Attar eventually expanded his business to include nine practices that he wholly or partly owned in Virginia and Maryland.”
Are all those events related to the same doctor, or is there more than one Dr. Ali al-Attar? So far, we don’t know.
Another conservative website, Front Page, shed more light on Democrats in Congress who employed the brothers. Front Page reported remarks from an unnamed congressman:
“A member of Congress expressed concern that, “they may have stolen data from us.”
The Daily Caller has updated the complicated case in an exclusive, House Dem IT Guys In Security Probe Secretly Took $100K In Iraqi Money.
Besides their IT work, the brothers also owned a car dealership. Abid allegedly ran it. A man who loaned them money ended up getting paid by US taxpayers:
“Imran boasted unusual clout among House Democrats, and was even pictured conversing with former President Bill Clinton. After Rao Abbas, who was owed money by the dealership, threatened to sue amid allegations of deception and theft, Abbas appeared on the congressional payroll and received $250,000 in taxpayer payments.”
Why are legacy TV networks and newspapers studiously ignoring this story? Was national security compromised, considering data these people had access to? Why were they making salaries far larger than normal? How did the man who loaned money to the brothers end up on congressional payrolls?
Answers are owed, but most traditional media are busy focusing on attempts to displace a new president who happens to not be a Democrat. Just another day in the republic of leftist media.
The brothers work for House Democrats included some members of the House Intelligence Committee. Debbie W. Schulz (D-FL), former DNC chair, had allegedly employed the brothers who are from Pakistan since 2005. Let that sink in.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Feb. 21, 2017)