Last Thursday, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) sought to secure a laptop being held as evidence in an active criminal investigation by U.S. Capitol Police.
Wasserman-Schultz repeatedly demanded that the laptop be given to her in a U.S. Capitol Police Budget hearing with the U.S. Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa.
Verderosa claimed that “extenuating circumstances” prevented U.S. Capitol Police from giving the laptop to Wasserman-Schultz or its owner.
Awan was paid $1.2 million of taxpayer money as a salary since 2010. His brother and wife - Abid and Hina, respectively - were each paid over $1 million in taxpayer money as salaries across the same time period.
The Daily Caller’s Luke Rosiak described the roles of Awan’s contacts - three relatives and a friend - as “largely no-show” jobs.
Asked by The Daily Caller about her “strong desire for the laptop,” Wasserman-Schultz was abruptly refused to offer comment. She has since reinstated Awan as an “adviser” in order to circumvent his banning from the House’s network.
Wasserman-Schultz also badgered Verderosa about “diversity” within the U.S. Capitol Police, calling on the police force’s administration to implements hiring quotas - presumably based on sex, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation - toward this end. Verderosa stated that he supports “diversity” as a value unto itself.
Partial transcript below:
WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: I’d like to know how Capitol Police handle equipment that belongs to a member or staffer that’s been lost in the Capitol complex and found or recovered by one of your officers. What happens?
VERDEROSA: It’s processed on a PD-81 which is a property record, and depending on the property, depending on how you can legitimately determine ownership, it’s generally turned back over to the owner of a property. If it’s part of an ongoing case, then there are other things that have to occur for that to happen.
WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: So if a member says there is equipment that has been lost, and you find it it would be returned to the member?
VERDEROSA: In a general sense, yes. You have to be able to positively identify the property and be able to establish ownership.
WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: If ownership is established…
VERDEROSA: If it’s part of an ongoing case, then there are additional things that need to be done.
WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: But if a member owns the equipment, and there is no ongoing case related to that member, then the equipment is supposed to be returned.
VERDEROSA: In a general sense, yes.
WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: No, I mean in a specific sense. If the member loses the equipment, says they lose the equipment, and it is found by the Capitol Police, it is supposed to be returned.
VERDEROSA: If ownership has been established, it will be returned. If it’s subject to an ongoing investigation, there are additional things–
WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: OK, but not an ongoing investigation related to that member. If the equipment belongs to the member, it has been lost, they say it’s been lost and it’s been identified as that member’s, then the Capitol Police are supposed to return it.
VERDEROSA: I can’t give a yes or no answer on that, because I know–
WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: It’s a simple yes or no answer. If a member loses equipment and it is found by your staff and identified as that member’s equipment and the member is not associated with any case, it is supposed to be returned. Yes or no.
VERDEROSA: It depends on the circumstances.
WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: I don’t understand how that is possible. Members’ equipment is members’ equipment. My understanding is the the Capitol Police is not able to confiscate members’ equipment when the member is not under investigation. It is their equipment and it is supposed to be returned.
VERDEROSA: I think there are extenuating circumstances in this case, and working through my counsel and the necessary personnel, if that in fact is the case, and with the permission of through the investigation, then we’ll return the equipment. But until that happens we can’t return the equipment.
WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way and you should expect that there will be consequences.
H/T Luke Rosiak at The Daily Caller.
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