The Orlando Sun Sentinel’s Anthony Man caught up with Debbie Wasserman (a/k/a Blabbermouth) Schultz for an interview regarding her former IT employee Imran Awan, now charged with bank fraud and terminated from Schultz’s employ earlier this week. Man notes that Schultz kept him on the payroll of Team Blabbermouth “six months after he was banned from the House network and fired by other members of Congress.”
It was also six months after Capitol Police confirmed an investigation into Awan, his wife, two brothers and a friend, all IT employees of congressional Democrats, on separate accusations of government theft. The wife has hightailed it to Pakistan. Having wired hundreds of thousand of dollars ahead, Imran Awan was on his way to join her. Schultz professes to believe that Awan was not fleeing when he was apprehended at Dulles International Airport on July 24. Imran Awan’s relatives and friend were fired earlier this year. (Luke Rosiak’s most recent Daily Caller story on the case comes with a comprehensive set of links appended.)
In the interview, Blabbermouth blabbers. “I believe that I did the right thing, and I would do it again,” she told Man. “There are times when you can’t be afraid to stand alone, and you have to stand up for what’s right. It would have been easier for me to just fire him,” she said.
As Richard Nixon said, it would have been so easy, but it would have been wrong.
Schultz kept Awan on the payroll in the name of fairness. “I had grave concerns about his due process rights being violated,” she told Man. “When their investigation was reviewed with me, I was presented with no evidence of anything that they were being investigated for. And so that, in me, gave me great concern that his due process rights were being violated. That there were racial and ethnic profiling concerns that I had.”
Man asked her about the laptop about which she grilled Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa at a May 18 House Appropriations subcommittee hearing. She said the laptop in question was issued by her office to Awan. “He accidentally left it somewhere,” a loss Wasserman Schultz said was reported to the Capitol Police. When the Capitol Police recovered the laptop, the agency wanted to search its contents.
She said she has agreed to allow the police to examine the laptop and wasn’t attempting to hide anything. “This was not my laptop. I have never seen that laptop. I don’t know what’s on the laptop,” she said.
She told Man that her concern about the nature of the investigation was what prompted her to warn Verderosa at the hearing that he could face consequences. “I was trying to get more information I wanted to make sure they were following the rules.”
Above is the video clip from the May 18 House Appropriations Committee budget hearing, covered here by the Daily Mail. In the video Schultz postulates that “the member owns the equipment” and that “there is no ongoing case related to that member [of Congress].” She reiterates that the laptop “belongs to the Member [of Congress].” Again she asks what is to happen “if the member loses the equipment” and there is no “ongoing investigation related to the member.” Schultz’s questions and comments to Verderosa cannot fairly be squared with her comments to Man.
In today’s Wall Street Journal Kim Strassel calls the Awan affair “The scandal that matters,” and she didn’t have the benefit of Man’s interview with Schultz.