Insiders say former Democratic National Committee chairman and current walking scandal Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is damaging her party by attempting to explain away her decision to continue employing a staffer accused of criminal hacking.
A little background from Bob Livingston:
It’s the biggest story you’ve likely never heard about because the mainstream media is largely ignoring it, although it’s been percolating for months. The MSM was forced to confront it Wednesday when Democrat Representative and former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s IT staffer was arrested while trying to board a plane for Pakistan at Dulles Airport. CBS gave it a rousing 37 seconds of television coverage.
Imran Awan was arraigned on multiple counts of bank fraud after he was picked up at Dulles. The Feds moved on him after learning he had wired almost $300,000 to his wife in Pakistan and had a bought a ticket for an international flight. Awan, his wife, his brothers and their wives have done IT work for Wasserman-Schultz and a number of Democrat House — some reports claim as many as 24 — members for several years, raking in more than $4 million in salaries and, likely lots of state secrets.
Even after they were locked out of the House computer network when the investigation into their activities began, Awan and his cohorts were not fired by Wasserman-Schultz. Rather, they were hired on as part time employees with salaries of $165,000. Wasserman-Schultz finally fired Awan after his arrest.
Democrats have largely stayed quiet about the scandal, likely hoping their silence would make it go away. But Wasserman-Schultz hasn’t, in recent weeks attempting to Awan on everyone but herself.
POLITICO reported Thursday that her actions are quickly making enemies of former allies:
Wasserman Schultz broke her public silence on Awan last week, portraying herself as the victim of “right wing media” attacks rooted in anti-Muslim bigotry aimed at Awan and the IT group.
But fellow Democrats are as confounded and disbelieving as ever by her penchant for making puzzling and stubborn political missteps.
“We wish she would go away and stop being so public by doubling down on negative stories,” said Nikki Barnes, a progressive DNC member from Florida, who believes Wasserman Schultz left the national party “in shambles” while chair, culminating with the hack of DNC servers and the release of embarrassing internal emails by WikiLeaks in the 2016 campaign. As for Wasserman Schultz’s defense, Barnes said “none of this makes sense. It doesn’t sound like racial profiling … there must have been something for her.”
The problem with the Awan case, Barnes said, is that it’s not just hurting the congresswoman. It’s drawing negative attention to a party still healing after last year’s shocking losses and the divisive Democratic primary when Wasserman Schultz appeared to favor Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.
“This adds to Debbie being re-branded as the Democrats’ disastrous destruction,” Barnes said. “Those of us on the DNC know we have to rebrand ourselves and earn the people’s trust. And unfortunately Debbie’s name does not scream trust. It screams power. It screams limited access. It screams WikiLeaks now. DNC lawsuit. It screams a lot of negative things to the public. That’s not how we want to rebrand ourselves.”
Barnes said she couldn’t understand why Wasserman Schultz made herself a target of attention by becoming the lone Democrat to employ Awan. Wasserman Schultz then drew even more negative attention to herself by publicly threatening the Capitol Police chief with “consequences” in a dispute over an office laptop under examination from investigators.
The bottom line is that the level of corruption surrounding Wasserman-Schultz and her close circle of associates is now so blatant that even the Democratic Party faithful are having a hard time looking away.