Arrested Democratic staffer didn’t have access to sensitive information, his lawyer says

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, taking heat at last year’s Democratic National Convention, is being criticized again over information technology issues.

Imran Awan, the information technology staffer for several congressional Democrats who was arrested on a bank fraud charge this week as he tried to leave the U.S., didn’t have access to sensitive information in his job, his attorney told The Palm Beach Post.

Attorney Chris Gowen claims Awan — who worked for U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, until his arrest and worked for U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, in the past — is the victim of “a frenzy of anti-Muslim bigotry.”

Awan and four other IT staffers who worked for House Democrats have been blocked from the House server since February during a U.S. Capitol Police investigation that has raised concerns about the possibility of confidential data being breached. The other staffers — who include Awan’s wife, two of his brothers and a friend — divided their time among dozens of House members including U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, and former Reps. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, and Gwen Graham, D-Tallahassee.

None of the other staffers has been charged. Gowen says Awan and the other staffers under investigation had “no security clearance or access to confidential information.”

Click here to read the latest on the IT matter and its Florida connections at

Author: George Bennett

George Bennett has been a Palm Beach Post reporter since 1992. He grew up in Bethesda, Md. and is a graduate of The George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @gbennettpost

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