Former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz can’t seem to avoid the negative press. She’s making headlines now, away from the election cycle, for threatening a US Capitol Police officer. It seems the Capitol Police have confiscated a laptop that belongs to one of Wasserman Schultz’s staffers. While this is part of an ongoing investigation, Wasserman Schultz wants it back.
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The investigation is an actual criminal investigation into a person who is still employed by Wasserman Schultz, but that didn’t stop her from trying to intimidate Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa at a May 18 budget hearing saying. When Chief Verderosa wouldn’t knuckle under to Wasserman Schultz’s demands, she told him he should “expect consequences.”
Wasserman Schultz, a US Representative for Florida’s 23rd congressional district, attended the Capitol Police’s annual budget hearing to ask for the laptop in question.
“Under my understanding, the Capitol Police is not able to confiscate members’ equipment when the member is not under investigation. It is their equipment and it’s supposed to be returned,” Wasserman Schultz said.
The investigation is focusing on data breaches originating from Congress. The staffer in question, Imran Awan (below right), is believed to have worked for several members of Congress, and The Mail is reporting that Awan had been fired for his role in the data theft.
Yet he is still working for Wasserman Schultz.
The Chief assured Wasserman Schultz that once the investigation was complete, the laptop would be returned. That wasn’t good enough for her, though. “I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way and should expect that there would be consequences,” she told him.
In an interesting twist, Wasserman Schultz sits on the committee that approves the Capitol Police budget. This seems like a distinct conflict of interest, and one that has been further complicated by her direct, albeit ambiguous, threat.
“The Congresswoman was asking the Capitol Police to follow their own equipment-return policy, and as we understand it, that is now happening,” Communications director David Damron told reporters.
As they understand it, this wasn’t a threat. “The consequences she referred to would be notifying the Sergeant-at-Arms that this policy was not being followed.”
The incident occurs just before the 3:00 mark below.