Former House IT staffer at center of debunked conspiracy theories avoids jail time

Imran Awan, the former House information technology staffer whose proximity to Democratic Party leadership m...

Posted: Aug 22, 2018 5:29 AM
Updated: Aug 22, 2018 5:29 AM

Imran Awan, the former House information technology staffer whose proximity to Democratic Party leadership made him a linchpin of conspiracy theories pushed by Republicans up to the President, was sentenced Tuesday to time served and three months of supervised release for lying on a bank loan application.

Awan pleaded guilty last month to the single charge. The plea agreement, reached after a yearlong investigation that was punctuated by stories pushed in conservative media and fanned by President Donald Trump claiming that Awan was a Pakistani spy involved in the hack of the Democratic National Committee computer systems, included an unusual paragraph dispelling those claims.

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal law

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

Jail sentencing

Law and legal system

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Politics

Sentencing

US Congress

US Democratic Party

US House of Representatives

US political parties

In an emotional hearing Tuesday in DC federal court, Judge Tanya S. Chutkan handed down the lenient punishment along with condemnations for the "unbelievable onslaught of scurrilous media attacks" and "baseless accusations" that were "lobbed at [Awan] from the highest branches of government."

Prosecutors did not oppose a sentence without further jail time, and Chutkan said Tuesday that Awan had "suffered sufficiently" and "has paid a price that he will continue to pay."

Awan, a former staffer for Democratic House members, including Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who served as the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee through much of the run-up to the 2016 election, was arrested on bank fraud charges in July 2017.

The charges were born from an investigation of Awan and a group of other House technology employees that included family members of Awan's family by the US Capitol Police and the FBI for the alleged theft of congressional computer equipment.

While he was never charged with a crime connected to his government work, conservative media outlets, including Fox News, speculated about his possible connections to the DNC hack and Pakistani intelligence.

Trump has referred to him in a tweet as a "Pakistani mystery man" and in June wrote, "Our Justice Department must not let Awan & Debbie Wasserman Schultz off the hook. The Democrat I.T. scandal is a key to much of the corruption we see today."

In the plea agreement reached last month, prosecutors debunked the theories, writing that they "found no evidence [Awan] illegally removed House data from the House network or from House Members' offices, stole the House Democratic Caucus Server, stole or destroyed House information technology equipment, or improperly accessed or transferred government information" after a "thorough investigation" that included interviewing 40 witnesses and taking custody of the House Democratic Caucus server.

In court, Chutkan said that Awan and his family have been the subject of harassment and threats and that his children have had to change schools.

Awan choked back tears as he addressed the court and said he took responsibility for lying on the bank form -- an application for a home equity loan he filled out while dealing with his father's serious illness.

"It was a lapse of judgment. It was a very difficult time in my life," he said.

Awan also said he had "no grudges in my heart for anyone moving forward."

"What those people did and all the stories they wrote, I forgive them for what they did," he said.

Awan hugged his attorney, Christopher Gowen, after he received his sentence.

In an interview following the hearing, Gowen suggested his client might try and seek a job in Silicon Valley. Awan said he would leave his fate up to God.

"I'm grateful to be here in this country and whatever it has given me. There's so much goodness here, and that should not get overshadowed," Awan said.

West Lafayette
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 84°
Kokomo
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 80°
Rensselaer
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Fowler
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 80°
Williamsport
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 83°
Crawfordsville
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 79°
Frankfort
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Delphi
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 81°
Monticello
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 81°
Logansport
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 81°
Hotter & turning much more humid for the weekend.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 72254

Reported Deaths: 3023
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15503725
Lake7447274
Elkhart476082
Allen3789161
St. Joseph337381
Hamilton2668105
Vanderburgh188813
Hendricks1833106
Cass17749
Johnson1719118
Porter126639
Clark117846
Tippecanoe117711
Madison91565
LaPorte88330
Howard87265
Kosciusko84012
Marshall77122
Bartholomew76647
Floyd76045
Monroe72230
Delaware70152
Dubois67612
Boone66246
Noble65929
Hancock64138
Vigo58610
Jackson5725
Warrick57030
LaGrange55610
Shelby54227
Grant52130
Dearborn49328
Morgan45934
Clinton4093
Henry37320
Wayne35410
White35410
Montgomery34821
Lawrence33627
Decatur33232
Harrison32123
Putnam2868
Miami2672
Daviess26320
Scott26310
Greene24634
Franklin23813
Jasper2272
DeKalb2264
Jennings22012
Gibson2144
Steuben2063
Ripley1977
Fayette1837
Perry18112
Carroll1772
Starke1767
Posey1670
Orange16624
Wabash1633
Wells1622
Fulton1612
Jefferson1552
Whitley1506
Knox1490
Tipton1336
Spencer1313
Washington1311
Huntington1213
Newton11510
Randolph1154
Clay1095
Sullivan1031
Adams952
Jay860
Owen841
Pulaski761
Rush744
Brown731
Fountain682
Blackford622
Ohio624
Benton600
Pike520
Parke511
Vermillion500
Switzerland450
Crawford440
Martin430
Union370
Warren221
Unassigned0202

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events