Debbie Wasserman Schultz used her position on a committee that oversees the budget of the Capitol Hill police to attend a budget hearing and question the police chief about a laptop she says the police should return to her. When the police chief said he couldn’t return it, Wasserman Schultz suggested there would be “consequences.” From the Daily Caller:
“My understanding is the the Capitol Police is not able to confiscate Members’ equipment when the Member is not under investigation,” Wasserman Schultz said in the annual police budget hearing of the House Committee On Appropriations’ Legislative Branch Subcommittee.
“We can’t return the equipment,” Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa told the Florida Democrat.
“I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way and you should expect that there will be consequences,” Wasserman Schultz said.
The text doesn’t really convey the tone of the exchange. Wasserman Schultz is giving the police chief the third degree at a budget meeting. Here’s video of the exchange:
The Capitol Hill police are investigating procurement theft involving equipment stolen from as many as 20 members of Congress. The thefts were allegedly carried out by a Pakistani IT specialist named Imran Awan and several members of his family. Awan has worked for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as a technology adviser since 2005 so it is believed that her office could be involved in the investigation, though no arrests have been made.
According to a source who spoke to the Daily Caller, the laptop in question was used by Awan and was found “hidden in an unused crevice of the Rayburn House Office Building.” Wasserman Schultz’ office is in the Longworth building. Police seized the laptop believing it could be important to their investigation. Obviously, Wasserman Schultz is claiming the laptop belongs to her and therefore should be returned regardless of who was using it or what information might be on it.
Monday the Daily Caller reported that Awan’s wife had left the country and moved to Pakistan.