Remember the hue and cry raised by Democrats over the “Russians” hacking their computer systems during the 2016 presidential election?
How there should be investigations? How someone – a Republican – must be at fault? How whatever interaction Donald Trump ever had with Russia was viewed suspiciously?
And now there are Democrats’ attacks on Trump over Michael Flynn, his national security adviser who was forced to resign this week over conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
Investigate, they demand. Not just Flynn, but Trump, too.
Yet the Democrats are mum over their own explosive hacking scandal, which could overshadow Watergate, Filegate, Travelgate and dozens of other Washington scandals.
The allegation is that Democrats hired tech staffers who were Pakistani nationals, and they likely gained illegal access to secret congressional information.
And that includes classified documents.
Flynn resigned late Monday after reports that he not been truthful with Vice President Mike Pence about his discussions with the Russian ambassador about sanctions.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported brothers Imran, Jamal and Abid Awan had been working for IT departments of multiple Democratic congressional offices. The three brothers had access to various computer systems and pathways.
But then, just days ago, they were abruptly relieved of their duties and banned from the networks because of “suspicion that they accessed congressional computers without permission.”
The report said three members of the intelligence panel and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs “were among the dozens of members who employed the suspects on a shared basis.”
“The two committees deal with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.”
WND made dozens of calls and sent dozens of emails on Tuesday asking members who might have hired the brothers for comment and an update on the status of the investigation.
A spokesman for Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., responded tersely, “Can’t comment on this one.”
A spokeswoman in the office of Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., said it was a “personnel matter,” and “that’s all I’m going to say.”
Among the many offices WND contacted, without generating a response, were those for Democrats Andre Carson, Luis Guiterez, Jim Himes, Terri Sewell, Jackie Speier, Mike Quigley, Eric Swalwell, Patrick Murphy, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Joaquini Castro, Lois Frankel, Ted Lieu, Robin Kelly, Tammy Duckworth, Mark Takano and John Sarbanes.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said something must be done.
“I hope we investigate this issue,” he said. “The facts regarding technology procurement and potentially illegal violations of the House IT network by several Democratic staffers is very concerning.”
Philip Haney, a former Department of Homeland Security officer and co-author of “See Something, Say Nothing,” a book about his effort to expose the U.S. governments capitulation to Islamic supremacists, said the case will be a bellwether.
“This particular breach of security will reveal how seriously our three branches of government actually take the threat posed by what appears to be a network of at least five Muslim operatives, who have managed to soak their way into the very heart of our constitutional republic,” he said.
“Let’s hope that this scandal isn’t just swept under the rug, or allowed to fade quietly into the background, like so many others that have, but instead becomes a case study in how our elected officials defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.
Haney said that in “this hyper-political environment, anything less than unrestrained bipartisan cooperation in a full investigation, followed by subsequent prosecution, if warranted, will be seen not only as an open indictment, but also as a blatant display of malevolent hypocrisy.”
Daniel Greenfield at FrontPage Magazine recently outlined what is known about the breach and the implications.
Imran Awan and his two brothers, Jamal and Abid, are at the center of an investigation into, among other things, allegations of illegal access. They have been barred from the House of Representatives network.
A member of Congress feared that they “may have stolen data from us.”
Greenfield reported that the three Pakistani brothers had worked only for Democrats, including members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. It was not even a year after eight Democrats on that committee “issued a demand that their staffers be granted access to top secret classified information,” he reported.
There’s a special concern about Carson, he revealed.
“Carson is the second Muslim in Congress and the first Muslim on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and, more critically, is the ranking member on its Emerging Threats Subcommittee,” Greenfield wrote. “He is also a member of the Department of Defense Intelligence and Overhead Architecture Subcommittee. The Emerging Threats Subcommittee, of which Carson is a ranking member, is responsible for much of counterterrorism oversight. It is the worst possible place for a man with Carson’s credentials.”
Greenfield continued: “Carson had inherited his grandmother’s seat and exploited it to promote a radical Islamist agenda. He has interfaced with a laundry list of Islamist groups from CAIR to ISNA to ICNA to MPAC. Islamists have funded Carson’s career to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. The Center for Security Policy has put together a dossier of Carson’s connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is the parent organization of many key Islamic terror groups posing a threat to our national security including al-Qaida and Hamas. Andre Carson shared the stage at a CAIR banquet with Sirraj Wahaj: an unindicted co-conspirator in the World Trade Center bombing who had once declared, ‘You don’t get involved in politics because it’s the American thing to do. You get involved in politics because politics are a weapon to use in the cause of Islam.’ CAIR itself had been named an unindicted co-conspirator in terror finance.”
While the Democrats were demanding security clearances for staff members, “three Pakistani Muslims working for them appear to have compromised security to an unknown degree,” he said.
Greenfield asked: “Why were the Awan brothers, one of whom had a criminal record, even allowed to work in such a sensitive position? How did the personnel suspected in this case pass background checks? And was any classified information compromised as a result of these alleged breaches?”
3 brothers paid $160,000 a year, each
The Daily Caller reported that the staff members were dismissed from some congressional offices after the investigation was revealed, but apparently not from all right away. And they each were being paid in the range of $160,000 a year.
Politico has reported the criminal investigation also involves allegations the employees stole equipment, and the Center for Security Policy said it was especially alarmed that Carson was among the members of Congress involved, since it has “documented Carson’s extensive and alarming ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The Daily Caller noted in a subsequent report that the staff members allegedly involved also had “multiple suspicious mortgage transfers and a debt-evading bankruptcy.”
One, Abid, “had more than $1 million in debts following a failed business called Cars International that he ran in Falls Church, Va., from November 2009 to September 2010.”
“It’s unclear how Abid found time to run an automotive business while working full time for Congress. He had been on the congressional payroll since 2005. A congressional credit union repossessed two of his personal cars before the business folded.”
The report continued: “Abid filed for bankruptcy in 2012, but somehow managed to keep ownership of two houses while telling the bankruptcy court and creditors that he had no assets with which to pay them. He signed a sworn statement that he and his wife, Natalia Soba, were living apart and needed separate residences.”
The Daily Caller said Abid’s record “includes numerous driving- and alcohol-related legal problems, including driving with a suspended or revoked license, court records show.”