(RightWing.org) – POLITICO published an article containing information from the military records of Jennifer-Ruth Green, a US Air Force veteran and the Republican candidate for Indiana’s 1st US Congressional District, a few weeks before the 2022 midterm elections. The media outlet claimed an unnamed individual obtained the documents using a public records request. However, recent information from the Secretary of the Air Force’s office revealed a link between the release of the information and a top Democrat committee.
On March 17, 2023, a representative for Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin sent a letter to Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, responding to an earlier request for information regarding the unauthorized release of information on several service members, including Green.
The letter confirmed the Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) conducted a required Personal Identifiable Information (PII) breach inquiry as required under the Office of Management and Budget and Defense Department policies. The investigation showed the AFPC released information related to the military records of seven Republican candidates or elected members of Congress to the Due Diligence Group (DDG), an opposition research contractor working for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
The Air Force notified lawmakers that it improperly released military records of 7 GOP candidates to a Dem-aligned research firm in 2022.
Two of them hadn't been ID'd until now:
👉 House candidate J.R. Majewski
👉 Senate candidate Robert “Eli” Bremer https://t.co/vQJk6eHpg6
— POLITICO (@politico) March 22, 2023
The AFPC improperly released the records from January 1, 2021, through January 3, 2023. A review of required Federal Election Commission disclosures showed the DCCC paid the DDG nearly $100,000 over 18 months ending on December 9, 2022.
The records released included:
- Five DD Form 214s: A Defense Department record detailing a veteran’s condition of discharge (i.e., honorable, general, bad conduct)
- One NGB Form 22: The National Guard equivalent of a DD-214
- Four Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs)
The Air Force Secretary’s Office correspondence also said the AFPC released the documents to the DDG “without proper authority.” It also turned over the information of four individuals whose names were withheld since they weren’t prior candidates for office.
It remains unclear why the AFPC released the information to a private group. According to the letter, the system is used primarily for veterans seeking a copy of their records and federal agencies conducting background checks on current or former military service members who applied for civilian positions with a federal agency.
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