Attorney Chris Gowen is serving as the lawyer for Imran Awan, a Pakistani-American IT professional who was apprehended at Dulles Airport this week as he reportedly attempted to leave the country for Pakistan.
Despite having declared bankruptcy, the top suspect in the Democrat’s House hacking scandal, has acquired the services of one of the top power attorneys in Washington.
According to the biography of Chris Gowen on the website of the law firm of Gowen, Rhoades, Winograd & Silva, PLLC, he has:
- Worked in the White House for former President Bill Clinton (for five years) as a traveling aid (sic) on national and international trips
- Worked for Senator Hillary Clinton
- Worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign by directing advance operations
- And was a fact checker for President Clinton’s memoir, “My Life”
According to his biography at American University, where Gowen is an adjunct professor of law, he “worked on several different initiatives with former President Clinton including”:
- The Clinton Foundation
- The Clinton Global Initiative
- The Clinton Health Access Initiative
- The Clinton Library
Gowen’s client was arrested by federal agents Tuesday at Dulles Airport in Virginia as he tried to flee the country for his native Pakistan.
Awan was then arraigned in federal court in Washington and pleaded not guilty to one count of bank fraud following allegations he tried to defraud the Congressional Federal Credit Union. According to an affidavit obtained by the Daily Caller, Awan had wired “$283,000.00, to two individuals in Faisalabad, Pakistan,” on Jan. 18.
But he is suspected of much more, including the possible theft of sensitive information from the office computers of numerous Democratic Party lawmakers and sending that data to a secret server.
Awan headed a group of at least five IT contractors working for dozens of House Democrats, including former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., for whom he had worked since she took office in 2005 as the representative from Florida’s 23rd district.
His group of IT workers included his wife, two of his brothers and one of their wives, all of whom are Muslims from Pakistan.
Awan was released after his arraignment but ordered to surrender his passports, wear a GPS monitor and observe a curfew.
According to Conservative Review, “It remains unclear at this time how Imran Awan managed to link up with Gowen and retain his services.”
One thing that’s clear: Gowen is making his defense of Awan all about politics.
In a statement defending his client released Wednesday, Gowen stated, “The attacks on Mr. Awan and his family began as part of a frenzy of anti-Muslim bigotry in the literal heart of our democracy, the House of Representatives.”
“For months,” he added, “we have had utterly unsupported, outlandish, and slanderous statements targeting Mr. Awan coming not just from the ultra-right-wing ‘pizzagate’ media but from sitting members of Congress.”
However, despite Gowen’s immediate and strident claim that Awan was a victim of Islamophobia, the accusation doesn’t appear to be backed up by the evidence.
Someone who knows the Awans and is one of their strongest critics is apparently a Muslim herself.
A relative of the Awan brothers’ stepmother, Samina Galani, told the Daily Caller in March that she has spoken out against the Awans because, “I am fighting to protect the country. These are very bad people.”
The Awans’ former co-workers, far from portraying the group as victims of Islamophobia, saw someone protecting them from behind the scenes.
“There’s no question about it: If I was accused of a tenth of what these guys are accused of, they’d take me out in handcuffs that same day, and I’d never work again,” said the manager of a company that provides high-tech services for House Democrats.
“I don’t know what they have, but they have something on someone. It’s been months at this point,” Pat Sowers, who has managed IT for several House offices for 12 years, told the Daily Caller. “Something is rotten in Denmark.”
A House IT employee said the new technicians who took over offices formerly serviced by the Awans found some had all the office computer data sent to a secret offsite server.
Also discovered was a non-government iTunes account to which staffers’ iPhones were linked.
And yet, despite all the problems, the Awans reportedly worked for more congressional offices than any other IT group.
A Democratic IT contractor implied there was a cover-up, telling the Daily Caller that lawmakers are saying, “Don’t say anything, this will all blow over if we all don’t say anything.”
The technician said the Awans “had [members of Congress] in their pocket,” and “there are a lot of members who could go down over this.”
After word broke in February that Capitol Police were investigating the group and had blocked their access to the House computer system, most Democratic lawmakers fired the staffers.
However, Wasserman Schultz defended Awan, with whom she reportedly has a personal friendship, and refused to fire him.
After Awan’s arrest on Tuesday, a spokesman for the congresswoman finally announced she had fired Awan.
Ironically, it was the famous computer hack of the Democratic National Committee, or DNC, that cost Wasserman Schultz her job as party chairman, after leaked emails indicated she and other top party officials colluded to deny Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the presidential nomination in favor of Hillary Clinton.
After it became clear that the Awans were suspected of more than overcharging lawmakers for services and stealing equipment, but also stealing data, the FBI reportedly began assisting Capitol Police in the investigation.
Just Sunday, it was reported the FBI had seized smashed hard drives from Awan’s former residence.
WND reported Thursday that Wasserman Schultz apparently and abruptly decided to finally stop her seemingly inexplicable stonewall of investigators.
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