There's a growing scandal on Capitol Hill worthy of a page-turning spy novel: allegations of foreign intrigue and espionage, concerns of computer hacking, open threats against law enforcement, and, not surprisingly, accusations of a cover-up.
"This investigation into falsified invoices and missing equipment," Daily Caller reporter Luke Rosiak told House Republicans on Tuesday, "led to the uncovering of cybersecurity breaches that may be unprecedented in scope on Capitol Hill, and could have put member and constituent data at risk."
Rosiak was seated before an unofficial gathering of Freedom Caucus members who wanted to hear firsthand from the reporter doggedly pursuing the arrest and prosecution of Pakistani technology expert Imran Awan.
Awan was employed by several House Democrats for IT work but he was dropped from all but one payroll earlier this year. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz kept him employed despite his arrest in July on bank fraud charges and only dropped him in August when he was indicted.
"There are indications," Rosiak stated, "that millions of dollars were paid to what may have been ghost employees. To date, no one has been charged with any of these apparent violations and there are indications that the cyber breach has not been taken seriously."
In just one Tom Clancy-like plot twist, Awan allegedly left one of Schultz's laptops in an old Capitol Hill phone booth for investigators to find – the same investigators chasing after him. That bombshell came from a police report, Rosiak reported in a Sept. 22 story.
Schulz wanted the left-behind laptop back so badly that she openly threatened the Capitol Hill police chief, Matthew Verderosa, if he didn't give it back right away.
"I think you're violating the rules when you conduct your business that way," she told the police chief (see video below) at a May budget hearing, "and should expect that there will be consequences."
The Daily Caller pointed out that the congresswoman, by August, was telling the media that the laptop didn't belong to her after all.
The hearing called by the Freedom Caucus comes after Republican leaders have failed to call for hearings to investigate Awan.
U.S. Rep. Scott Perry told his colleagues that investigators discovered more than 5,400 unauthorized logins by Awan and his associates on just one server.
"Up to forty or more members of Congress," Perry said Tuesday, "had all of their data moved out of their office server, or out of their cloud storage system ,and on to the Becerra server without their knowledge or consent."
There are concerns that the data was stolen and has been shared with Pakistani Intelligence - yet another plot twist to a largely ignored scandal.