Members of the Democratic National Committee are becoming increasingly uneasy over the arrest of Muslim IT aide Imram Awan – a staffer for former DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s (D-Fla.).
Wasserman-Schultz’s former employee, Awan, was arrested as he was trying to flee the United States last month, over several charges including bank fraud. Awan’s arrest attracted attention from all sides, with members of the Democratic Party nervously pointing fingers at their former party leader.
Nikki Barnes, a member of the DNC in Florida, expressed her wish that Wasserman-Schultz, “would go away” along with her “negative stories.” Speaking for her contingent of the DNC in Florida, Barnes hoped that, “she would go away and stop being so public by doubling down on negative stories.”
However, Awan’s attorney, Chris Gowen, claimed that the Awan’s arrest was “clearly a right-wing media-driven prosecution by a United States Attorney’s Office that wants to prosecute people for working while Muslim.”
Wasserman-Schultz echoed the Islam-loving lawyer’s declaration, saying, “I was presented with no evidence of anything that they were being investigated for. And so that, in me, gave me great concern that his due process rights were being violated.” The former DNC chairman concluded that she had serious, “racial and ethnic profiling concerns.”
Members of the party are not only getting sick of Wasserman-Schultz, but are being increasingly vocal about her many deficiencies besides. Barnes, the Florida DNC agent, went on to state that DNC was in “shambles” during Wasserman-Schultz’s chairmanship. She even broke with the official Democratic party line on Awan’s arrest, saying, “It doesn’t sound like racial profiling … there must have been something for her.”
Politico notes, “the problem with the Awan case, Barnes said, is that it’s not just hurting the congresswoman. It’s drawing negative attention to a party still healing after last year’s shocking losses and the divisive Democratic primary in which Wasserman Schultz appeared to favor Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.”
Awan is not the target of a large, and ongoing, criminal investigation that was looking into possible security breaches from within the House of Representatives.
R.T. Rybak, the former mayor of Minneapolis and a Vice-Chair of the DNC, hinted at a possible reason Democrats are still putting up with Wasserman-Schultz, saying, “in the 2016 presidential election. “[Wasserman Schultz] is still a national figure, but unfortunately for her, it’s because so many people around the country see her as playing a devastatingly bad role in the last election.”
Rybak continued, “I can mention her name in Minneapolis and it gets a viscerally negative reaction, and I’ve found that to be the case in other parts of the country, too. Sadly, I think she deserves the negative reputation.”