The FBI has completed an internal review of the agency’s involvement with the man linked to the 2018 Schoharie limo crash that killed 20 people, bureau chief Christopher Wray told members of Congress on Thursday.
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik has pressed for answers on this topic, especially since the 2022 redistricting process put Schoharie County into her district, and even threatened a subpoena of the FBI.
About a year ago, the New York congresswoman, a Republican, asked Wray about the bureau's interactions with Shahed Hussain, who had run a limo rental business and had been an undercover informant for the bureau, and whether he was aware of the allegations facing his limousine company.
Around the same time, Rep. Paul Tonko, a Democrat whose district included Schoharie County when the crash happened, also sent a letter to the FBI calling for any documents and information the agency has in connection with Hussain.
Now, Stefanik wants the FBI to provide a briefing on their findings. Wray told Stefanik on Thursday he would commit to a briefing some time this month. Stefanik also asked if that briefing would be conveyed to direct family members of the crash victims.
“Let me make sure I talk to our folks and circle back with you about what can be shared, if there are any limitations,” Wray told Stefanik. “Obviously, we want to make sure that the victims and their families are properly informed.”
"For more than a year now, I have been pushing for answers from the FBI about information the agency can provide in connection with the devastating Schoharie limo crash that stole 20 lives in 2018. After initially refusing to comment on my multiple inquiries, they finally announced an investigation into the crash in April of last year," Rep. Tonko said in a statement. "Yet, despite this pledge, they remained silent and dragged their feet on delivering crucial information and insights into their review. These families have waited years for answers. They need justice. I hope that Director Wray follows through on his promise to provide a briefing on the FBI's investigation at once and finally offer the loved ones of those lost some transparency and accountability - it's the very least they deserve."
Shahed Hussain's son, Nauman, has been the only person charged in the crash, considered the deadliest transportation disaster in a decade.
Nauman Hussain, the Prestige Limousine operator, had initially entered a guilty plea in the cash that would have required community service, but resulted in no prison time. But in August, a judge rejected the agreement, calling it "fundamentally flawed."
The National Transportation Safety Board in 2020 released its final report of the crash, concluding that the probable cause of the crash was “Prestige Limousine and Chauffeur Service’s egregious disregard for safety,” the Department of Transportation’s “ineffective oversight of Prestige Limousine, despite its knowledge of the carrier’s multiple out-of-service violations and lack of operating authority, as well as the department’s inadequate repair verification process,” and the Department of Motor Vehicles’ “inadequate oversight of state-licensed inspection stations and its failure to properly register the limousine.”