Donald Trump’s “Pakistani Mystery Man” Turns Out to Be an Ordinary IT Guy

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Earlier today the DC office of the US Attorney concluded a plea agreement with a guy named Imran Awan. Awan agreed to plead guilty to making a false statement on a loan application, for which he’ll probably get probation and pay a modest fine. Oddly, though, the plea agreement also includes this:

That’s peculiar. Why are prosecutors going out of their way to explain that Awan didn’t steal a Democratic Caucus server; didn’t destroy any House equipment; and didn’t hack any classified information? Probably because of this:

And this:

That’s our president lobbying his own Justice Department for the prosecution of a man who did nothing wrong but nonetheless found himself in the middle of yet another stupid conservative conspiracy firestorm. Awan (the “Pakistani mystery man”) supposedly moved terabytes of information off a Democratic server and smashed a bunch of hard drives while working as an IT specialist in the office of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, something that conservative lawmakers found deeply troubling. Trump then took it a step further and claimed that the whole thing was a massive scandal related to the Clinton emails and should be vigorously prosecuted.

In reality, Awan was an ordinary IT guy who was guilty only of taking out a home equity loan and then sending the money to his father in Pakistan, who was gravely ill at the time. That’s it. But the president of the United States went after him publicly for no reason except that it was politically useful as a cudgel against other people. He knew nothing about Awan and couldn’t have cared less.

Congratulations, America. This is your chief law enforcement officer at work.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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