Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert is pushing his party’s leadership to hold a caucus briefing on the U.S. Capitol Police criminal investigation into the five congressional Information Technology (IT) workers suspected of stealing congressional data.
“I’m circulating a letter, and we’re going to ask for just that,” Gohmert told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group Thursday following a “Conversation with Conservatives” news conference.
Congress needs to know more about three Pakistani brothers — Imran, Abid and Jamal Awan — and two of their associates, who are under criminal investigation for using a remote server to download and store data from congressional IT systems and over-billing taxpayers for computer equipment, Gohmert said.
The staffers performed IT services for dozens of Democratic members of the House Committees on Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security. Their positions gave them access to “everything,” including House member email and office files.
Gohmert’s comments came a day after Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said U.S. Capitol Police are getting “the kind of help they need from other sources.”
“We need to make sure that the Capitol police have the resources they need,” Gohmert said, adding that involving the FBI or other federal investigative authorities may run into separation of powers issues. “If they (U.S. Capitol Police) need to hire a forensic computer expert to come in, whatever they need, let’s make sure they have it so they can figure out how badly compromised the House was.”
The DCNF previously reported that the brothers owed money to a Hezbollah-connected fugitive, took cash from an Iraqi politician, had access to former Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s digital devices, and were suspected of holding their stepmother in “captivity” in order to access offshore cash.
Gohmert wants to ensure a “proper investigation” of the national security breach, and he believes Congress needs to make sure congressional IT systems aren’t compromised ever again, especially from the inside.
“We need to look at where mistakes were made,” Gohmert said. “How do we make sure that we don’t have people that can come in and compromise our system quite so easily?”
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