2017 House IT staff accused

In February 2017 Politico and BuzzFeed reported Capitol Police accused five IT staffers (who worked for more than 30 House Democrats including Wasserman Schultz) of trying to steal House computer equipment and violating House security policies.[107][108][109]

As of February 6, 2017, Politico noted that Wasserman Schultz was one of several House members who did not terminate the suspected staffers after the criminal complaints.[110] In July 2017, one of the accused staffers, Imran Awan, was arrested for making a false statement on a bank loan application.[111][112] After his arrest, Wasserman Schultz’s office fired Awan.[113] Wasserman Schultz later defended her decision not to fire Awan earlier, saying, “I believe that I did the right thing, and I would do it again.”[114]

In 2018, The Washington Post reported:[111]

Federal prosecutors concluded an 18-month investigation into a former congressional technology staffer on Tuesday by publicly debunking allegations — promoted by conservative media and President Trump — suggesting he was a Pakistani operative who stole government secrets with cover from House Democrats. As part of an agreement with prosecutors, Imran Awan pleaded guilty to a relatively minor offense unrelated to his work on Capitol Hill: making a false statement on a bank loan application. U.S. prosecutors said they would not recommend jail time.

According to The New York Times:[115]

In the plea agreement, federal prosecutors debunked conspiracy theories about the case that had circulated online. They said that the government had interviewed about 40 witnesses, examined the House Democratic Caucus server and other data and devices, reviewed electronic communications and interviewed Mr. Awan on numerous occasions. They found no evidence that Mr. Awan had engaged in illegal conduct involving House computer systems.

October 2018 mail bomb attempt

On October 24, 2018, a pipe bomb device sent to former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, which had the wrong address, was instead delivered to the Florida office of Wasserman Schultz, whose name and address was on the return labels of all the packages.[116] During this time, similar pipe bomb devices had been sent to various influential Democratic politicians.[116] The packages containing the devices, as well as envelopes containing mysterious white powder, also labeled Schultz’s office in Sunrise, Florida, as the sender,[116] but the person who sent these devices and envelopes misspelled her name as “Shultz.”[116] The same day, a similar device was found at Wasserman Schultz’s office in Aventura, Florida, as well.[117] Fingerprint DNA helped identify the suspect as Florida resident and right-wing conspiracist Cesar Sayoc,[118][119] who, was arrested in a parking lot in Plantation, Florida, on October 26, 2018.[120]

Stock trading

In 2022 Schultz’s stock portfolio was up 50.8%, the second-highest gain in Congress that fiscal year[121] following Rep. Patrick Fallon. Schultz made a large portion of this gain from trading energy stocks including a $45,000 purchase of Patterson-UTI Energy. Schultz did all this while on the House Natural Resources Committee.

2016 presidential election

Clinton’s opponents Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders both criticized Wasserman Schultz’s decision to schedule only six debates in the 2016 presidential primary, fewer than in previous election cycles, as well as the timing of the debates.[84][85]

Ultimately, there were nine debates that both Clinton and Sanders participated in during the primaries, as well as a number of town halls.[86]

Some of Wasserman Schultz’s actions that the news covered during the primaries were reducing the debate schedule;[87][88][89] uninviting former DNC Vice Chair Tulsi Gabbard to the first primary debate;[90][91] halting the Sanders campaign’s access to DNC databases after a staffer from his campaign attempted to exploit a security breach;[92][93] defending the superdelegate system used in the Democratic primaries;[94] rescinding a prior ban on corporate donations;[95][96] and accusing Sanders supporters of violence at the Nevada Convention.[97][98][99]


After WikiLeaks published DNC emails that showed that some DNC staffers had actively supported Clinton against Sanders in the primary,[100][101][102] Wasserman Schultz tendered her resignation as head of the DNC, to become effective as of the close of the nominating convention in Philadelphia. According to reports in The Washington Post, Wasserman Schultz strongly resisted suggestions she resign until a phone call from Obama persuaded her.[103]

After a speech at the convention before the Florida delegation during which Wasserman Schultz was “booed off stage” by Sanders supporters, the DNC decided that she would not open the convention.[104][105][106]

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

Shit Hits the Fan

FBI Chief Jim Comey’s Russia Hacking Brief Turns Into ‘Sh*t Show’

Perhaps the head of the FBI was expecting a sedate review of the intelligence that tied the Kremlin to the DNC hacks. But that’s not what he got.

Asawin Suebsaeng

Kimberly Dozier

On Friday morning in the bowels of the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, DC, U.S. intelligence chiefs finally briefed members of the House of Representatives on Russia’s alleged hacking during the 2016 election. What started as a standard classified, closed-door briefing degenerated into a gigantic “shit show” of angry, bitter Democratic lawmakers screaming in FBI director James Comey’s face.
“It got incredibly uncomfortable,” one congressional aide briefed on the meeting told The Daily Beast. “People were mad, people were loud. It was like…they wanted Comey’s head on a plate,” the source said, describing the elected Democrats in the room.

When Comey started addressing the group, he told them he was “tone deaf to politics,” something he’d said in an open hearing this past week, according to a different congressional staffer briefed on the meeting. He then added that he “doesn’t pay attention to timing, but does what he thinks is right,” to the scoffs of Democrats in the room. Comey after all, rocked the election with his 11th hour announcement that the bureau was investigating a new trove of Hillary Clinton’s emails—and his 11th hour and 59th minute proclamation those there was nothing new or incriminating in those messages.

Friday’s raucous back-and-forth lasted for an anxious, sneering 10-15 minutes. And it demonstrates that Democrats still blame the FBI director for their stinging loss at the polls, only a day after word emerged that the Justice Department Inspector General is looking into whether Comey followed FBI policy by those pronouncements about the Clinton probe.  (The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

“There was a big shit show toward the end of the briefing where [Democratic congresswoman and former Democratic National Committee chair] Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in an attempt at a public CYA [cover-your-ass], badgered Comey in front of everyone basically blaming him for her losing her job, saying the FBI hadn’t properly warned the DNC they were being hacked, and hadn’t been more aggressive in their attempt to alert the DNC,” the Hill staffer recounted. “It lasted an uncomfortable amount of time, like 5 minutes. Republicans were booing and calling for her to sit down.”

Comey in testimony this week said that the FBI had asked for access to the DNC servers and John Podesta’s server multiple times but had been denied, and ultimately the DNC contracted a private company, which then shared what they found about the intrusions with the bureau.

“As a Member of Congress, I will not compromise information learned and discussed in any classified briefing,” Wasserman Schultz told The Daily Beast in a statement. “However, the FBI Director must clarify for the American people, the agency’s policies for investigating and alerting those who are hacked by foreign governments. There are further questions that must be answered by Director Comey, who must provide more clarity on this and other questions that have arisen surrounding the FBI’s handling of Russian hacking during the 2016 election cycle.”

According to multiple sources, the confrontation with Comey started when Democratic congressman Jerrold Nadler first began pushing hard on Comey to explain his letters to Congress regarding Hillary Clinton right before the election (which many Democrats and Clinton herself blame for Trump’s surprise election-night victory), and whether or not he would have made the controversial move had Trump been in the crosshairs.

“Do you believe that standard has been met with reference to the possible investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible connections to the Russian government? And if not, why not?” Nadler asked Comey on Friday morning, according to The Guardian.

After all, Comey the other day had huffed that he “would never comment on investigations—whether we have one or not—in an open forum,” when asked by Sen. Angus King, an Independent from Maine, whether there was an active probe into ties between the Russian government and Team Trump.

“The irony of your making that statement here, I cannot avoid,” King replied.

Four sources told The Daily Beast that Nadler’s confrontation on Friday set off a chain-reaction. “A bunch of” Democratic lawmakers began jeering at and scolding the FBI director about an apparent Clinton/Trump “double standard.” This dominated the final 15 minutes of the classified intel briefing, during which Comey remained evasive, dodged questions, offered up half-baked answers, and stayed “defiant,” according to lawmakers in the room.

Among the Democrats charging Comey with historic malpractice were the former DNC chairwoman and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who capped off the hate-fest portion of the briefing by revisiting Nadler’s line of questioning and further “grilling” Comey, according to two aides.

Towards the merciful conclusion of the meeting, Pelosi chastised the FBI chief for his behavior and for apparently not treating the House members with an adequate level of respect, according to the sources.

“At approximately 11 a.m., following the classified briefing, House Democrats held a Caucus meeting,” a Pelosi spokesman told The Daily Beast. “At the end of that Caucus meeting, Leader Pelosi expressed the frustration House Democrats have as to why Director Comey continues to refuse to say whether he has opened an investigation into the alleged contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia. Leader Pelosi has always held Director Comey in high esteem, which is why she is concerned that he continues to evade answering this question.”

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“You let us down!” one Democrat shouted at Comey during the briefing, according to one attendee speaking to The Hill.

Several Democratic lawmakers emerged from the meeting on Capitol Hill looking visibly perturbed and dissatisfied with what happened. Most, at the time, would not elaborate on details of the meeting. When reporters asked Rep. Steve Cohen for specifics, he jokingly replied, “Can’t tell you, then I’d have to kill you.”

When asked by The Daily Beast if the classified briefing included any new details such as names of members of the Trump campaign suspected of irregular contact with Russian officials or players, Congressman Charlie Crist said no names were revealed and indicated that the briefing was underwhelming—“and that’s the problem,” he added.

Indignation towards Comey’s actions just before the presidential election has not been relegated to the Democratic side of the aisle. Just after he sent that first and infamous letter to Congress, some prominent Republicans publicly stated their outrage.

For the Democrats, however, the anger still lingers, given how many continue to blame him for giving the world a President Trump.

The anti-Comey sentiments within the Democratic Party’s leaders are unlikely to evaporate any time soon, as liberal lawmakers and politicians grapple with the realities of their brutal electoral defeats and the dawn of the Trump era. Meanwhile, Team Trump is busy preparing for The Donald’s inauguration-weekend festivities, with the big day just one week out.

This article has been updated to include comment from Wasserman Schultz.


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Debbie’s Dead Dudes