Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is coming under mounting pressure to explain why she kept an IT aide on the payroll for months after a criminal investigation was revealed, facing calls from Republicans to testify as well as a newly filed ethics complaint.
Wasserman Schultz, the Florida congresswoman who led the Democratic National Committee until last year, terminated Imran Awan’s “part-time” employment last week, when he was arrested at Dulles International Airport trying to fly to Pakistan. He was charged with a bank fraud count.
But he and other former IT aides for House Democrats have been on investigators’ radar screen for months over concerns about possible double-billing, alleged equipment theft and access to sensitive computer systems. Most lawmakers fired Awan in March, but Schultz kept him on, though he was barred from the House IT network.
“I think she should testify,” Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told conservative radio host Dana Loesch on Monday. “If I had a staff member, an IT staff member, who had access to all of our data and all of our infrastructure and he had come under investigation … you better believe I would be cooperating.”
Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., also indicated support on Monday for Schultz testifying, though no such hearing has been formally called at this point.
“We have to investigate how our systems may have been compromised, and that may involve putting people in the [witness] chair,” he told “Fox & Friends.”