An aide of former Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been arrested trying to leave the country.
Imran Awan, 37, was arrested July 24 by the FBI at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, destined for Pakistan, via Qatar, reports the Daily Mail.
He is accused of attempting to defraud the Congressional Federal Credit Union by illegally obtaining a $165,000 home equity loan for a rental property, and making a wire transfer of the money to two individuals Pakistan, reports Politico.
After his arrest, he was granted bail, but was required to surrender his passports and must wear an electronic ankle bracelet until his next court date in August.
In a statement to Politico, his lawyer said: "This is clearly a right-wing media-driven prosecution by a United States Attorney's Office that wants to prosecute people for working while Muslim. A quick glance at what the government filed in court today confirms the lack of evidence or proof they have against my client."
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On July 25, Wasserman Schultz announced that Awan had been fired. "Mr. Awan previously served as a part-time employee but his services have been terminated," her spokesman said. "No charges, evidence or findings from the investigation have been formally shared with our office, so we cannot comment on them."
Wasserman Schultz was the chair of the DNC in 2016 when thousands of emails by the Clinton campaign team were stolen from its computer systems, and released by WikiLeaks. The security breach, which was blamed by the Obama administration and U.S. intelligence agencies on Russian officials, prompted Wasserman Schultz's resignation.
She has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 2005, and is distinguished as the first Jewish Congresswoman ever elected from Florida.
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"Rep. Wasserman Schultz introduced a resolution, which passed the House of Representatives and called on the President to declare an annual Jewish American Heritage Month," notes her webpage on the congressional website. "The President subsequently did so, with the inaugural month in May 2006. Since then, Presidents have proclaimed Jewish American Heritage Month annually."
On July 22, she issued the following press release:
Russian interference in our elections and Iran's continued violations of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 warrant tough sanctions, and it is Congress' job to make sure those sanctions are implemented. I am pleased that House and Senate negotiators have finally reached an agreement that will allow us to pass this critical legislation and move forward with strong sanctions immediately, because time is of the essence.