Three congressional IT employees fired for accessing members’ computer networks without permission
In an exclusive Saturday, the Daily Caller revealed that three brothers who worked as information technology professionals for some members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence were fired from their positions under suspicion they had accessed congressional computer networks without authorization.
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.
The brothers were suspected of multiple violations including accessing members’ computer networks without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress.
The men are “shared employees,” and are split between offices as need requires. Jamal worked for Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), a member of both the intelligence and foreign affairs panels and Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) who is on the Committee on Homeland Security.
Imran did work for Reps. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), both of whom serve as members of the intelligence committee, while Abid worked for then-Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a member of House committees on oversight, armed services and Benghazi, and Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), a member of the foreign affairs committee.
There are reports that at least one of the brothers had a prior criminal record. According to the Daily Caller, Jamal is only 22 years old and was paid nearly $160,000 a year, three times the average House IT staff salary, according to InsideGov, which tracks congressional salaries. Abid was paid $161,000 and Imran $165,000.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who was the target of a well-publicized email hack as chair of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign, may have been one of the members whose network was compromised and illegally accessed by the brothers.
Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said the investigation was ongoing. No arrests have been made.