The federal court case against Imran Awan, the former IT aide to congressional Democrats, has been hit with repeated delays over the last six months — a situation fueled by allegations in the media that, according to his attorney, have piqued the curiosity of prosecutors.
Since November, a judge has postponed Awan’s court hearing in U.S. District Court five times at the request of the prosecution and defense. The latest postponement came Thursday, when the judge pushed Friday’s scheduled hearing to June 7.
In an interview Thursday with Fox News, Awan’s attorney, Christopher J. Gowen, blamed the delays on the steady stream of allegations against Awan that have been published online, especially by The Daily Caller, and pushed by President Trump and Republican members of Congress.
The reports suggest Awan, who worked for former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and others, could have been involved in a cyber breach operation, something his legal team vigorously denies.
Gowen — who argues his client is a victim of “made up allegations” — said federal prosecutors have repeatedly asked them to provide information in response to these stories. The defense has been cooperative in turning over “evidence, documentation,” Gowen said, but the process has slowed the case.
“We are trying to be as helpful as possible to law enforcement to provide them any information or access they need,” Gowen said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the postponements.
“We typically do not comment on pending cases and have no comment on this particular matter,” said Bill Miller, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
A grand jury in August returned an indictment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia charging Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, with a total of four counts, which included federal bank fraud and conspiracy. Awan has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The facts of the case on paper are relatively mundane. Awan and his wife are facing allegations they engaged in a conspiracy to obtain home equity lines of credit from the Congressional Federal Credit Union by giving false information about two properties – and sending the proceeds to individuals in Pakistan.
But the case has drawn interest from Republican lawmakers because of Awan’s role for prominent Democrats and the access he had to sensitive data. The Daily Caller has published numerous news stories suggesting Awan inappropriately accessed congressional servers while working for Democrats.