It goes without saying that Democrats have had a number of problems with computer security over the past few years, whether it be the controversy that arose through Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, or the following hacks into the DNC.
Most blamed Russia for the hack, and they quite well could be responsible, but while their eyes were on Russia, they forgot about any threats to their security from inside.
According to the Daily Caller; Three brothers who managed office information technology for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other lawmakers were abruptly relieved of their duties on suspicion that they accessed congressional computer networks without permission.
Brothers Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan were barred from computer networks at the House of Representatives Thursday, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.
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, information and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.
Also among those whose computer systems may have been compromised is Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Democrat who was previously the target of a disastrous email hack when she served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign.
The brothers are suspected of serious violations, including accessing members’ computer networks without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress.
Jamal had handled IT for Texas Democrat Rep. Joaquin Castro, while Imran worked for Indiana Democrat Rep. Andre Carson, and California Democrat Jackie Speier, both who members of the intelligence committee. Imran had also worked for the House office of Wasserman-Schultz. Lastly, Abid worked for then-Rep. Tammy Duckworth an Illinois Democrat.
The three men are “shared employees,” meaning they are hired by multiple offices, which split their salaries and use them as needed for IT services. It is up to each member to fire them from working.
A criminal investigation into five unnamed people began late last year related to serious and potentially illegal violations of House IT policies, Politico reported Thursday. Chiefs of staff for the members were briefed Thursday by the Sergeant-at-Arms.
Speaking of their salaries, wait till you hear how outrageous they were.
Jamal, who public records indicate is only 22 years old and first began working in the House when he was 20, was paid nearly $160,000 a year, or three times the average House IT staff salary, according to InsideGov, which tracks congressional salaries. Abid was paid $161,000 and Imran $165,000.
Not a bad gig, but one can’t help asking a few questions. Who hired these guys? How were those salaries even approved?
And the more you learn about the brothers, the fishier it gets.
Abid, Imran and Jamal share a house in Lorton, Virginia, that is owned by Hina R. Alvi, a woman. Alvi is also a House IT employee who works for many of the same members as the three brothers, as well as the House Democratic Caucus.
Signs of trouble have long been visible in public records. The Congressional Credit Union repossessed Abid’s car in 2009, and he declared bankruptcy in 2012, facing multiple lawsuits.
Alvi…has taken multiple second mortgages.
Security-sensitive jobs typically require background checks for credit and legal problems that can create pressures to cash in on access to secret information and documents.
Who dropped the ball here, and why?
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]