Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Speaking Of Protecting Organized Criminal Syndicates...,


WaPo |  Federal prosecutors concluded an 18-month investigation into a former congressional technology staffer on Tuesday by publicly debunking allegations — promoted by conservative media and President Trump — suggesting he was a Pakistani operative who stole government secrets with cover from House Democrats.

As part of an agreement with prosecutors, Imran Awan pleaded guilty to a relatively minor offense unrelated to his work on Capitol Hill: making a false statement on a bank loan application. U.S. prosecutors said they would not recommend jail time.

But the agreement included an unusual passage that described the scope of the investigation and cleared Awan of a litany of conspiracy theories promulgated on Internet blogs, picked up by right-leaning news sites and fanned by Trump on Twitter.

“The Government has uncovered no evidence that your client violated federal law with respect to the House computer systems,” including stealing equipment or illegally accessing or transferring information, prosecutors wrote in an 11-page plea agreement dated and signed Tuesday.
Federal prosecutors described in the agreement a “thorough investigation” that included forensic analysis of computer equipment and other devices, log-on and usage data and interviews with about 40 witnesses. 

Awan and four of his associates, including family members, worked as IT specialists for dozens of Democratic lawmakers until they were banned from the computer network in February 2017, accused of violating House security rules. The ensuing investigation attracted aggressive coverage by conservative media outlets — led by the Daily Caller — and prompted calls from Trump to prosecute Awan, whom the president referred to in one tweet as the “Pakistani mystery man.”