February 06, 2019
In this episode of “JW Inside Report,” investigative reporter Luke Rosiak of The Daily Caller discusses his findings on the Awan Bros/Democrat IT scandal in his new book “Obstruction of Justice.”
A Democratic IT staffer named Imran Awan was arrested in July 2017 on charges of bank fraud. He was employed with Debbie Wasserman Shultz and other congressional members. He is also a suspect in a cybersecurity investigation, having been banned from congressional networks earlier in the year. In addition, his relatives, also government IT employees, are currently being investigated for alleged involvement in defrauding the federal government as well as compromising sensitive information from congressional servers. Check out Luke’s new book HERE
BRUCE SCHLESMAN: Hello and welcome to Inside Report. I’m your host, Bruce Schlesman. With me today, we have Luke Rosiak, who is an author of his book “Obstruction of Justice” and an investigative reporter with the “Daily Caller.” Thanks so much for coming by.
LUKE ROSIAK: Thank you.
SCHLESMAN: So, Luke, why don’t you tell us a little bit about this book?
ROSIAK: This is a book involving really what’s the most successfully covered up scandal of the 2016 election, and that is days after the DNC hack, the House of Representatives discovered a very similar computer hack on their network perpetrated by a Democratic IT staffer by the name of Imran Awan, who was from Pakistan. And so that’s how this book started. And as I started writing about this case and investigating, for two years, evidence started to disappear, witnesses were threatened, the things that were going on were absolutely remarkable, and basically you had this Machiavellian maneuvering by the Democrats to manipulate the media, and eventually the FBI and the DOJ, to keep this from coming to light.
This would have been a politically damaging scandal to come out before the 2016 election. It would have complicated the Russian narrative and taken some of the focus off of that. And this guy, it turned out, also had a lot of dirt on members of Congress and a corruption scheme that had been going on in the House. And so this started as really a frightening national security story and it ended up being obstruction of justice, where this is another case where the FBI and the DOJ are basically being puppeteered by the Democrats. And I had never seen it myself firsthand before. I had, of course, heard about it on the news and this was my encounter with the Deep State, and as a result of doing this reporting, I’m now absolutely convinced that it exists because I’ve seen how it works. And at the end of the day, I think that one of the ways that this book is really important is this kind of shows Americans how the Democrats manipulate the justice system, the media, how they control what we know about, and the lengths that they’re willing to go to win.
So this is sort of a road map to the techniques that the Deep State uses to pull the wool over our eyes. And at the end of the day, we’ve got this major national security breach that was never dealt with. We have congressional corruption that none of these members were held accountable for stuff that’s easily proven, and we have basically the DOJ and the FBI engaging in really troubling behavior in ways that I document in detail. So this is a book that names names. It shows you who some of the members of the Deep State are, who will continue to hold their positions, and it really shows you how they operate because they’re going to do it again. And this book shows people, I think, the tell-tale signs to look for, so we can see this when it’s happening again and understand how it works, if we have any hope of stopping it.
SCHLESMAN: So just for our viewers, there are a lot of documents and things and evidence, obviously, about this case, and I’m sure you show this in your book, and our Judicial Watch has done some lawsuits for this very obstruction we’re talking about from the DOJ. Our lawsuit particularly dealt with the DOJ, but would you mind going into some of that obstruction, from the DOJ and the FBI that you mentioned and how that tied in to Congress?
ROSIAK: Sure. So it started with the Inspector General of the House of Representatives, who was incidentally appointed by Nancy Pelosi, when she was in charge. And so the IG finds this hack and finds that they’re also stealing from Congress in ways that indicate that members of Congress or their Chiefs of Staff were probably involved or at least intentionally looking the other way at this theft. And so what happens next is Nancy Pelosi’s operatives start retaliating against the Inspector General that she herself selected. And they scream at this woman and they block her from doing her investigation. And she doesn’t, she feels like she can’t stop because this is a major national security breach.
And so eventually, Nancy Pelosi’s operatives frame this cybersecurity expert, this really ethical investigator with great credentials, they frame her on – they accuse her of false ethics charges and basically drive her out of service. And they plot to you steer this criminal case away from people who would do anything with it. So they take it away from the IG and they give it to the Capitol Police, who don’t really know what they’re doing because the Capitol Police kind of just like runs metal detectors at the Capitol. They don’t know about computers. They don’t know how to track metadata on servers and things like that. And so they basically just delay and delay and delay, until after the election. And so you’ve got the leadership of the House of Representatives knowing that they’ve got an active hacker on the House network, for seven months, and they let it happen. They risk our national security to protect themselves.
And so they stall until, all the way after Trump’s inauguration, and at that point the FBI gets involved, and there’s a number of documents and letters, where the FBI and other authorities are documenting that equipment is disappearing, that there’s been thousands of breaches on the House Democratic Caucus, which is a different group than the DNC, but it’s kind of similar, and that turned out to be the epicenter of what happened on the House. And so eventually, the FBI starts working with the Capitol Police, but they don’t do anything, they don’t interview barely anyone, over two years. And it’s like, “What’s going on here?” I mean they either did it or they didn’t, and the server logs show that they did it, the invoices that they have on the House of Representatives prove that they were stealing and submitting false documentation. And so they kicked the can down the road inexplicably for two years.
The FBI and the prosecutors, they actually tail one of the suspects to the airport, where she gets on a plane to Pakistan, and before she boards, they stop her and they find that she has $12,000 in cash illegally on her person undisclosed. And she refuses to talk to them and they let her board the flight, and then say, “Oh yes she’s not coming back.” And they wrote that in an affidavit. So why did the FBI escort a suspect in an ongoing criminal investigation out of the country? And so it goes on and on like this, where they’re just behaving completely irrationally. This is a major – anyone else who would have done this stuff would have been in jail the next day. And they’re protected these people.
And so finally, they call in the IG and they say, “Are you stalking to anyone about this? What documentation do you have? You better hire a lawyer.” And so they’re threatening the nonpartisan chief investigator who started this thing and she’s an investigator, she’s one of them. So this remarkable turnaround in this basically retaliation, whistleblower retaliation, and number of other witnesses come forward. One of them is Imran Awan’s own wife, who he tells he is a mole in Congress, and that he knows too much to be prosecuted. And what does he do? He starts blackmailing his own wife. He uses hidden cameras to outfit her apartment. He gets a sex tape of her and he threatens to expose that in Pakistan.
And so he’s – this is a guy who, obviously, the concern is that he’s blackmailing members of Congress, after taking their data, and as part of a cover-up he basically blackmails witnesses. And the FBI is told this by his own wife and they do nothing. And she begs them to charge him and they won’t do it. And so they actually, at one point, threaten her and prevent her from leaving her house because they don’t want her to go to court and say what’s going on. And at the end of the day, they put out this remarkable statement, the FBI does, the prosecutors rather, that says Imran Awan never did anything wrong in his life, which is completely contradicted by two years of official government documentation and public records, but of course the media where it was able to use this to say that it’s all a conspiracy theory or whatever. And it was just really remarkable lie in public – in open court by the DOJ.
And it really – the book kind of opens with this guy’s wife saying, “I never thought that I would say that the United States Department of Justice or justice system was just like that of Pakistan, but that’s what I’m finding.” And so that’s kind of what sets the tone for the book is it turns out that our justice system here in America is not as unlike the Pakistani one is, as we would have thought.
SCHLESMAN: So why this cover-up? Why try so hard to push down so much evidence and when there’s a threat to national security, why would Democrats risk so much to protect this person, who’s obviously stealing from them for months? Why go through the trouble?
ROSIAK: Yeah, that’s a great question. And when I started this, as you said, I thought that the Democrats had been victimized by a bad staffer. It can happen to anyone, and I expected that they would forcefully condemn this guy in seek his prosecution. And when I realized that they were covering for this guy, refusing to say anything about him, no matter how bad it got, I started asking those same questions. And actually eventually Imran Awan himself, through his lawyers, started saying, “Look, there was a billing scheme in Congress, where invoices were being falsified, and the members of Congress ordered Imran to want to do it.” So he was basically overtly saying, “I’m going to blame members of Congress if you don’t protect me.”
And so what that’s in reference to is Imran Awan, the members were paying his entire family, even though these members weren’t showing up to work and doing anything on Capitol Hill. And so he got $7 million that way. I mean these guys, the typical IT guy makes like 50 grand. They were paying each of his family members $165,000 a year. And one of these guys worked at McDonald’s, one of them was a 20-year-old college student, and then they’ve got like their wives in there. They’ve got his father, his elderly father, who knows nothing about computers. They’re – all members of Congress are signing paychecks to these people week after week. Why would they do that? And you look deeper, they’re also changing – part of their job is to buy computer equipment, and so they’re buying a huge amount of stuff, way more than any office would need. And they’re changing all the invoices, so that it’s treated as petty cash, instead of tracked like the House designed the system.
And so what the investigators found is, sure enough, number one, they’re intentionally – they’re systematically falsifying the books in Congress. Number two, sure enough, that equipment is disappearing, and basically they, at one point, find this cache of equipment that turns up like in an elevator shaft, and then the server that’s kind of a key – basically, this guy realizes he’s under investigation. A lot of evidence starts disappearing and the investigators start getting tricked, both by Democrats and by the suspects. And so a big portion of this book is sort of this cat-and-mouse game, where Nancy Pelosi’s operatives are tricking Republicans, who are pretty – turns out, in this case, pretty gullible and kind of naïve, and they’re not really trying very hard to do their jobs. The Democrats are very invested in covering this up.
And so, to your point about why would they do that, number one, this is coming out days after the DNC hack. You’ve got here these unvetted Pakistanis, who the Democrats paid for years and years as IT guys. They gave them access to all their servers, people with no training or background whatsoever in technology. And so here they are talking about foreign meddling and the importance of cyber security, and it turns out that the Democrats were extraordinarily reckless, at best, and negligent with their IT practices. The things that they were – the people that they were giving access to all their data completely defies belief. And so anytime something like that happens, yeah these guys are vicious, vicious extortionists, who preyed upon every person they ever met, and they had access to all the data of 20 percent of House of Democrats. But that reflects kind of poorly on the Democrats who let it happened, right?
And the second thing is, of course, these guys aren’t Russian, and that’s a separate hack, to be clear. It’s not the DNC hack. This is one that happened at the same time.
SCHLESMAN: Did Awan have an allegiance to a foreign power?
ROSIAK: In fact, he did receive payments from foreign officials, while he was working for members of the Intelligence Committee.
SCHLESMAN: So that suggests some espionage, then, by foreign powers?
ROSIAK: Imran Awan certainly gave the impression that he was a very, very powerful person in the United States, and he received protection from Pakistani agents in Pakistan.
ROSIAK: And so there’s really no other reason that he would be – if there’s some other reason, no one has ever said what it was.
ROSIAK: But he goes traveling around with like this motorcade, like a secret service style motorcade of like armed Pakistani government agents. And he – his relatives told me early on that he was sending huge amounts of computer equipment to Pakistani government officials. And when I first heard that, I didn’t know if it was true or not. Months go by, and then I get documents showing that, sure enough, the House of Representatives knows that the very same pieces of equipment were disappearing. So he was absolutely taking this equipment and sending it to Pakistan. He was – he received money from a foreign government minister who’s been tied to Hezbollah, and he laundered it through a fake car dealership that they set up. And this is all kind of in public records.
And so this is a guy with massive connections to foreign governments, access to 20 percent of all the emails and files of the members of Congress and their staffs, working for members of really important committees, and he’s running like a dozen LLCs that are like laundering money. The FBI has hundreds of suspicious activity reports, detailing all the money that’s coming and going from him. And it really it’s all documented, and it couldn’t be worse. It couldn’t be more frightening. And here, you never really hear about any of this because they successfully cover it up.
SCHLESMAN: Yeah. So I want to back up to what you said about Republicans. Where were they? Why weren’t they pressing in on this if this was such an obvious problem? Where in the world were they? Where was Paul Ryan? Where was the Judiciary Committee? Where was oversight of this process?
ROSIAK: Right, and so that’s one of the most interesting part of this book to me is how the Republicans are repeatedly manipulated in a very calculated fashion by the Democrats. And I have to say the Democrats staff, in this book, are much smarter and harder working than the Republicans. They care more. They’re smart. They have the media on their side. And the Republicans are kind of cowardly and overly deferential. And so the Democrats keep tricking them in a variety of ways that the book details. For example, at one point they say, “Oh, we better not talk to the media about this. Let’s make a deal and neither side will talk to the media.” And of course, the Democrats immediately start, not only talking to the media, but completely outright lying about this. So the Democrats make this deal with the Republicans that neither party is going to talk to the media. Of course, the Democrats immediately violate that and start, not only talking to media, but lying. And they know that the Republicans are, like chumps, going to say, “Hey, we made a deal, we got to keep our word.” And so the Republicans, just kind of absurdly, never pushed back against this.
Eventually, the Democrats convince the Republicans that they’re the idiots who failed to crash all this corruption in Congress over the years because Republicans are in charge. Paul Ryan’s running the place. They’re supposed to enforce the rules. And it turned out that there were massive, massive violations of basic policies in Congress. It really was the Wild West. I mean people were doing whatever they wanted with IT and with payroll, huge rules were just glaringly being violated, and no one did anything about it for years. So that’s one of the most hilarious things on this is that the Democrats convinced Republicans that they were going to turn around a scandal that involved one in five House Democrats and staffers that exclusively work for Democrats, and turn it around and make it a Republican scandal, which is not that plausible, but the Republicans are, number one, very scared of the media, number two, they don’t know how the media works and they weren’t able to see it like “That’s not going to happen, guys.”
And so at the end of the day, you have this picture of very cowardly – sort of a lack of courage under Paul Ryan’s speakership, and sort of these bumbling bureaucrats, who worked for him, who were afraid to make waves and wanted to just kind of go along to get along.
SCHLESMAN: So we mentioned a lot of – maybe the reason for this was it was just going to distract from the Russian narrative, and that’s why there was such a motivation to cover it up, what does this have to do with the Russian collusion narrative going on right now and kind of those accusations against the president and the president’s staff, and that ongoing Mueller investigation?
ROSIAK: Well, one of the things that has been slowly coming out over the last two years, as all of us know, who’d been paying attention, is that we’re learning every day how that Russian narrative didn’t just come to be, right? It was intentionally implanted by Democratic operatives, who cultivated points of entry into the FBI, and they manipulated it, and they went over people’s head, and they hired Bruce Ohr’s wife and things like that. And it’s becoming very apparent how orchestrated the whole thing was. And so another component of this is that, when there was a simultaneous and equally severe hack that kind of was by, not Russians, but unvetted Muslims working for Democrats, that was part of that same orchestration. And they basically – it’s frightening to think about and was treasonous that they knew that there were hackers on the House network and they let them stay there until after the election. That’s how much they wanted this narrative and that’s how much they were willing to do anything to win.
SCHLESMAN: Where do we go from here, groups like Judicial Watch and other investigative groups and investigative journalists? Where do we go from here, trying to uncover this truth – the truth of the scandal?
ROSIAK: Well, this is such an interesting case because it started as an investigation into truly sociopathic and predatory Pakistanis, who infiltrated the House network, and then now, it basically moved on to investigating the investigators. And we really have the goods on the operators in Capitol Hill, the Capitol Police, the FBI, and the DOJ. And this is a great window into all of these systems, where we’re able to name names and identifying specific dates, who did what, in ways that are wildly reckless. The House never had – never really knew of any – knew that any of this was going on, and it was really unfair because, of course, the Democrats all knew what was going on because they were involved in it. But Paul Ryan never told anyone about this, other than the chairman of the Administration Committee, a congressman named Gregg Harper. Other than that, the Republicans were completely in the dark. And so Judicial Watch had this hearing, where Tom Fitton and I spoke before members of Congress, and they were basically shocked at what they were hearing in front of their own House.
And so there’s this total lack of transparency in the House of Representatives, and that’s an area where we need to make progress. They use this transparency to protect themselves from corruption, period. The House of Representatives has sort of a détente, a mutually assured destruction policy, where both parties protect each other because if they don’t, they know they’re both going down. And so Judicial Watch has pressed for transparency measures in Congress. Congress actually has a new committee on the modernization of Congress, and that’s an area where they need to look at how they run the place because, frankly, it’s just astonishingly corrupt. And some people may say, “Well that’s a Nancy Pelosi Congress.” It doesn’t matter. It’s a good committee. It needs to be followed closely in the media because we need to fix Congress.
The other aspect is, of course, the DOJ and the FBI. And so for the longest time, they would say, “We can’t talk about this because it’s ongoing.” And I would say, “You’ve got to talk about this. This is so bad. You’re hiding it. You’re lying to people.” Why have there been no accountability for the members of Congress and the chiefs of staff, as well as the family, all of whom are named in this book, who basically crimes can easily be proven against? And they would just say, “We can’t talk about it.” So finally, they say – they put out this statement that says, “None of these people have ever done anything wrong.” The evidence is there. They – and they – the media says, “Oh, well, they debunked a conspiracy theory.” They never addressed any of that. They didn’t debunk anything.
Jeff Sessions put out this statement saying they did nothing wrong, in a way that was blatantly contradicted by his own agencies and other government investigators’ documentation. And so now, that’s where we are right now is are there ever going to consequences for this family of Pakistani, ruthless Pakistani extortionists? I don’t think so. Our own DOJ that – Jeff Sessions made a statement protecting them. And so the question, really, I think the bigger question becomes who did this and why? And those are the things that this book goes into. So this is something that you guys and many others have been focused on for a while now is the root of this problem, why we keep seeing political investigations be rigged again and again is because the Democrats have found this way to weasel their way into the Department of Justice and meddle in political cases. And that’s what this book really lays out. And I think that’s what we all need to continue to focus on because if we don’t, this is kind of thing, the Deep State’s going to rear its ugly head, and we’re gonna have basically our democracy overruled by these unethical and anonymous actors. And that and that’s what we have to understand how it works, so we can stop it from happening again.
SCHLESMAN: Well, thank you so much for walking us through this and coming by today.
ROSIAK: Anytime. Good to be here.
SCHLESMAN: Of course. Be sure to check out his new book, when it hits the shelves, and give that a read. And please support our work. If you’re a fan of Judicial Watch and a fan of Inside Report, please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and of course check – check us out on YouTube. Thanks so much.