A U.S. House of Representatives IT aide, who had previously worked for many Democrat lawmakers but was most recently employed by former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), was arrested at Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC while attempting to flee the country.
Imran Awan, 37, was arrested on Monday over allegations he was at the center of a scheme involving a double-charge to the House of Representatives for IT equipment, and potential exposure of House information online, according to Fox News. FBI agents and U.S. Capitol Police caught Awan before he boarded a plane to Lahore, Pakistan.
Awan was arraigned in U.S. District Court on Tuesday with one count of bank fraud, a federal offense. He pleaded not guilty, according to NBC News.
The scandal hits Washington amid a string of online hacking related crimes surrounding allegations that the Russian government hacked systems of both the DNC and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
As reported by The Hill, a spokesperson for Wasserman Schultz claimed Awan had been fired on Tuesday. “Mr. Awan previously served as an employee in our office, but his services have been terminated," according to David Damron, Wasserman Schultz' spokesman.
Awan declared bankruptcy in 2012, according to Politico, but has "made millions of dollars on the House payroll over at least a decade of working for various members."
In March, a group of House Democrats fired Awan for alleged involvement in the scheme and the looming criminal investigation. However, Fox News reported Tuesday that Wasserman Schultz still has Awan on her staff's payroll despite him being barred from accessing the House's computer system since February.
U.S. President Donald Trump was quick to add his voice to the unfolding scandal retweeting a story from Townhall.com titled, "ABC, NBC, And CBS Pretty Much Bury IT Scandal Engulfing Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Office."
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