Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, is knee-deep in a scandal that involves a laptop, money and possible foreign entanglements.
Unlike the Trump Russian scandal, however, The Washington Post and The New York Times have barely reported on the story.
In February, the House sergeant-at-arms yanked House computer network access for five information technology staffers who worked as shared employees for some 30 House Democrats.
Capitol Police told members that the five were under criminal investigation for possibly violating security policies — and asked members to update their security settings. By March, most Democrats had fired the five, if only because they could no longer do their jobs.
To the puzzlement of many Democrats and Republicans, Wasserman Schultz kept one of the five, Imran Awan, on the payroll, even though he could not do standard House IT work.
On July 24, federal authorities arrested Awan at Dulles International Airport as he was about to board a plane to his native Pakistan.
According to an FBI affidavit, Awan had just wired $283,000 to Pakistan, $165,000 of it from an ill-gotten home-equity loan.
The feds charged Awan with bank fraud.
Awan’s wife, Hina Alvi, who was one of the fired IT workers, had left the country for Pakistan in March. While she had bought a round-trip ticket with a return date in September, FBI Special Agent Brandon C. Merriman wrote he “does not believe that Alvi has any intention to return to the United States.”
Awan’s salary also is an issue. Democrats paid Awan nearly $2 million since he started working for House Democrats in 2004.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley wrote that over 13 years, Awan, his brothers and wife “collected more than $4 million,” which he said is “three times higher than the norm for a government contractor.”
There is enough smoke to this story to merit intense news coverage. Yet, The Washington Post, the federal government’s hometown paper, had published only two stories on the Awan saga as of Tuesday.
It is impossible not to see a double standard. The Democrats’ IT guys enjoy the presumption of innocence. And that would be OK, if big beltway media showed the president the same courtesy.