Donald Trump’s “Pakistani Mystery Man” Turns Out to Be an Ordinary IT Guy

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Earlier today the DC office of the US Attorney concluded a plea agreement with a guy named Imran Awan. Awan agreed to plead guilty to making a false statement on a loan application, for which he’ll probably get probation and pay a modest fine. Oddly, though, the plea agreement also includes this:

That’s peculiar. Why are prosecutors going out of their way to explain that Awan didn’t steal a Democratic Caucus server; didn’t destroy any House equipment; and didn’t hack any classified information? Probably because of this:

And this:

That’s our president lobbying his own Justice Department for the prosecution of a man who did nothing wrong but nonetheless found himself in the middle of yet another stupid conservative conspiracy firestorm. Awan (the “Pakistani mystery man”) supposedly moved terabytes of information off a Democratic server and smashed a bunch of hard drives while working as an IT specialist in the office of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, something that conservative lawmakers found deeply troubling. Trump then took it a step further and claimed that the whole thing was a massive scandal related to the Clinton emails and should be vigorously prosecuted.

In reality, Awan was an ordinary IT guy who was guilty only of taking out a home equity loan and then sending the money to his father in Pakistan, who was gravely ill at the time. That’s it. But the president of the United States went after him publicly for no reason except that it was politically useful as a cudgel against other people. He knew nothing about Awan and couldn’t have cared less.

Congratulations, America. This is your chief law enforcement officer at work.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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