A lot of rumors have been circulating about Imran Awan and Seth Rich being connected somehow. One of the top circulating rumors right now is that Rich partied with Awan the night he was killed. How did these rumors get started and is there any truth to them?
The main rumor right now is that Rich was partying with Awan the night he was murdered at a get-together for IT colleagues. But if you dig deeper into the origin of these rumors, you can see that they don’t hold up. What we don’t know, however, is whether any of the activities that authorities are investigating Awan for might have possibly exposed sensitive Democratic information.
Here’s what we know so far. This is a developing story.
There’s No Evidence that Awan and Rich Were Together the Night Rich Was Killed
Imran Awan, an IT aide for a number of House Democrats including Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was arrested for bank fraud at Dulles International Airport when he was trying to leave for Pakistan. His wife, Hina Alvi, and their three children had already left the country before he did. (Read the affidavit connected to Awan’s arrest here.)
But ever since his arrest, rumors have circulated that Awan might somehow be connected to Rich’s murder from a year earlier. To this day, Seth Rich’s murder remains unsolved.
Looking into the origins of the rumor reveal there’s not much behind it. The rumor appears to originate in a World Net Daily article. The article states that Rich attended a party with other IT employees on July 9. (Rich was killed in the early morning hours of July 10, 2016.) The story goes on to say that Rod Wheeler, who has been investigating Rich’s murder, tried to look into the party and no one would tell him who attended “because it had nothing to do with his death.” Wheeler thought that was strange.
Wheeler never said that other DNC staff attended the party, or claimed that Imran Awan was at the party either. He simply said, earlier in the story, that maybe there was a connection between Awan’s case and Rich’s, and maybe the police investigating should talk to one another. But he never had any evidence or more details than that.
In other words, the World Net Daily article simply stated that Wheeler thought there might be a connection between the two, but he had no idea what. There was absolutely no evidence that Awan and Rich partied together the night Rich was killed.
In fact, the rumors that they were together stem from a completely unrelated photo of Rich with a group of friends who do not include Awan. WND included the photo in question in their story about Awan and Rich. Some people claimed that one person in the photo looked like Awan. But the person in the photo was actually Miguel Huerta, a friend of Rich, not Awan. And the photo wasn’t taken at the IT party the night Rich died. It was from Omaha, much earlier.
Here’s the photo:
The original photo was posted on July 11, 2016, by Miguel Huerta to Facebook. He shared the photo of his friend the day after Seth was killed:
Awan & Other IT Aides Are Being Investigated for a ‘Procurement Scam’
Awan and Rich may not be connected, but it doesn’t mean the Awan case isn’t intriguing all on its own.
Awan, his wife Alvi, along with several other related IT staffers have been under investigation since February, Politico reported. The other staffers allegedly being investigated are Jamal Awan, Abid Awan, (both brothers of Awan), and friend Rao Abbas, The New York Post reported.
Fox News reported in March that the allegations included allegedly running a procurement scheme that involved buying equipment, then double-billing the House administrative office, and possibly having unauthorized access to the House computer system. Items that may have been double-billed included computers, iPads, monitors, keyboards, and routers.
Meanwhile, Debbie Wasserman Schultz kept Awan on her salary until after he was arrested, long after other House Democrats had removed him. Attorneys for Wasserman Schultz have been negotiating with Capitol Police who want access to a laptop of hers associated with the case, Fox reported. She had “resisted” those efforts, possibly discussing consequences if the computer wasn’t quickly returned.
According to Politico, Awan earned nearly $2 million since 2004 as an IT support staffer for House Democrats. Alvi began working for House Democrats in 2007 and earned more than $1.3 million since then. Their salaries were split among multiple lawmakers’ offices.
It’s Unclear If Sensitive Democratic Information Was Put on the Cloud
One reason this case is getting so much attention is because of the concern that sensitive Democratic information might have been put on the cloud during the alleged “procurement scam.” Sources originally told Fox that there was no evidence that this investigation might be connected to the hacks that happened during the campaign. Fox more recently reported, however, that authorities are looking into whether the IT workers put any sensitive House information on the cloud, possibly allowing it “to be exposed to outside sources.”
Meanwhile, Awan was arrested trying to leave the country. His wife Alvi and his children are already in Pakistan, according to law enforcement officials.
Awan’s attorney, Christopher Gowen, told CNN that Alvi and other members of Awan’s family were staying with extended family in Pakistan because right wing bloggers had been fixated on them and had started harassing them. “This is a truly political thing,” he said.
Read more about Seth Rich and other cases below: