The attorney for a Democratic House IT staffer, Imran Awan, who was arrested on Monday over bank fraud charges, says the charges are a political move and "began as part of a frenzy of anti-Muslim bigotry in the literal heart of our democracy, the House of Representatives."
"For months we have had utterly unsupported, outlandish, and slanderous statements targeting Mr. Awan coming not just from the ultra-right-wing 'pizzagate' media but from sitting members of Congress," Christopher Gowen, Awan's attorney said in a statement obtained by the Washington Examiner.
"The government had been informed he would travel and had stated no objection. Yet on Monday night he was hastily arrested at Dulles airport," the statement read.
Awan, a former IT congressional staffer for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., was arrested on Monday by FBI agents Dulles International Airport while attempting to board an international flight.
Awan pleaded not guilty to one count of bank fraud on Tuesday at his arraignment in Washington, D.C. He was released but will be required to wear a GPS ankle monitor until his preliminary hearing on Aug. 21, according to Fox News.