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17:40, 06 June 2018

Ex-Dem IT aide Imran Awan poised for plea deal, soon after months of mysterious delays

Ex-Dem IT aide Imran Awan poised for plea deal, following months of mysterious delays

Imran Awan, the former IT aide to congressional Democrats whose federal court case has drawn the interest of President Trump, is poised to strike a plea deal with prosecutors, court filings indicate.

A Tuesday filing said a plea agreement hearing for Awan and his wife Hina Alvi has been set for July 3 ahead of U.S. District&nbspJudge Tanya S. Chutkan&nbspin Washington.

The filing did not reveal any specifics about the terms of the apparent agreement. But in court documents final month, prosecutors hinted that a deal could be in the works.

&ldquoThe parties are at the moment exploring a achievable resolution of this matter,&rdquo prosecutors wrote. &ldquoTherefore, the parties are requesting added time in which to discover that resolution.&rdquo

Awan&rsquos attorney, Christopher J. Gowen, nonetheless kept the door open Wednesday to the possibility that a deal may well not be finalized.&nbsp

&ldquoA plea occurs in court,&rdquo Gowen stated in an e-mail to Fox News. &ldquoA plea does not happen outside of court. We anticipate that by July 3rd we will either enter a plea or the case will be set for trial.&rdquo

William Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Lawyer&rsquos Workplace, declined to go over the developments, saying, &ldquoWe usually do not comment on pending situations and have no comment on this particular matter.&rdquo

The federal court case against Awan has been hit with repeated delays over the final six months — a situation fueled by allegations in the media that, according to his lawyer, have piqued the curiosity of prosecutors.&nbsp


Since November, a judge has postponed Awan&rsquos court hearing in U.S. District Court six occasions at the request of the prosecution and defense.&nbsp

Gowen on Wednesday blamed the delays on the &ldquotremendous amount of false allegations&rdquo published on the web and embraced by Republican politicians, the president and his &ldquoTwitter-addicted young children.&rdquo

&ldquoBecause of the stress getting applied by lawmakers and the Justice Department, very precious resources have to be utilised to totally investigate every absurd claim,&rdquo Gowen said Wednesday. &ldquoMy client and I have turned over every single point we have to assist. This is a tremendous waste of time and cash.&rdquo&nbsp

The precise nature of the allegations remains unclear.&nbsp

Reports suggest Awan, who worked for former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other people, could have been involved in a cyber breach operation, something his legal team vigorously denies.&nbsp

But the information of the case on paper are relatively mundane. Awan and his wife are facing allegations they engaged in a conspiracy to receive residence equity lines of credit from the Congressional Federal Credit Union by giving false info about two properties &ndash and sending the proceeds to men and women in Pakistan.&nbsp

A grand jury in August returned an indictment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia charging Awan and Alvi with a total of 4 counts pertaining to that alleged scheme, which integrated federal bank fraud and conspiracy. Awan has pleaded not guilty to all charges.&nbsp

But the case has drawn interest from Republican lawmakers simply because of Awan&rsquos function for prominent Democrats and the access he had to sensitive data.

Trump has tweeted about the case and referred to Awan as &ldquothe Pakistani mystery man.&rdquo Trump also talked about Awan in a New York Times story final year, saying, &ldquoWhatever occurred to this Pakistani guy who worked with the DNC?&rdquo

Awan and other IT aides for Residence Democrats initially had been on investigators&rsquo radar for months over issues of alleged equipment theft, access to sensitive laptop systems and far more, according to reports dating back to early 2017.

Awan was born in Pakistan, but came to the U.S. with his household when he was a teenager. He became a U.S. citizen more than a decade ago.

The broader case surrounding him also has put renewed scrutiny on Wasserman Schultz for maintaining Awan on the payroll for months, even soon after a criminal investigation was revealed and he was barred from the House IT network.

Most lawmakers fired Awan in February 2017, but Wasserman Schultz had kept him on till his arrest in July.

Awan has been enrolled in the High Intensity Supervision System (HISP) with circumstances that he abide by an electronically monitored curfew of 12 a.m. to six a.m. and a limit on traveling beyond 150 miles from his residence, according to court documents.

Wasserman Schultz has blamed the &ldquoright-wing media circus fringe&rdquo for the consideration on Awan, suggesting it is all part of an work to distract from the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign and attainable ties to Trump’s group.

Fox News&rsquo Brooke Singman and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.

Alex Pappas is a politics reporter at Adhere to him on Twitter at @AlexPappas.

Published at Wed, 06 Jun 2018 14:56:00 +0000

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