An opposition research group obtained and distributed documents detailing the sexual assault of Republican congressional candidate and Air Force veteran Jennifer-Ruth Green, according to two Republican congressmen.
Green, who is running against Democratic Rep. Frank Mrvan in Indiana’s First District, served in the Air Force 2000-2012 as an enlisted member and officer. In a profile of Green published Oct. 7, Politico characterized fitness reports detailing the candidate’s time in Iraq and revealed that she was sexually assaulted by an Iraqi service-member. The media outlet claimed that it obtained the documents through a “public records request.”
Politico’s statement was not accurate, according to Republican Indiana Reps. Jim Banks and Larry Buschon. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Nikki Haley To Announce Major Endorsement In House Race GOP Has Targeted For Pickup)
“The Air Force took full responsibility for improperly releasing Lt Col Green’s confidential personnel records to an opposition research firm just weeks before the midterm election. Lt. Gen. Davis informed us that the leaker has been identified and will be held accountable. The Air Force completed its preliminary investigation and is currently investigating whether the leaker had a political or financial motive, whether the leaker acted alone, and if the Air Force needs to strengthen policies related to its handling of confidential records,” the two said in a joint statement.
Only two Democratic outside firms are working on the Mrvan-Green race, according to Federal Election Commission filings. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has paid the Due Diligence Group more than $78,500, while the Mrvan campaign has paid Deep Dive Political Research $10,000.
The Due Diligence Group’s political director did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment. Deep Dive did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.
A spokeswoman for the Air Force previously would not confirm that any documents related to Green’s service were released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). She added that documents that “invade another individual’s personal privacy” are subject to redactions under the Freedom of Information Act. The Air Force makes those decisions on a “case-by-case basis.” Any documents related to Green’s sexual assault would have been redacted before a FOIA release.
“Records released via FOIA containing sexual assault information would be redacted under the FOIA, as necessary, to protect a victim’s identity or other privacy interest, as well as withholding other information that is not required to be released to the public under the FOIA,” the spokeswoman explained.
Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton previously requested an investigation into the publication of Green’s personnel information, writing in a letter to the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of the National Guard Bureau that the release of her fitness reports appear “to be a grave violation of both Lt. Col. Green’s privacy and federal law.”
The Green campaign has blamed Mrvan for releasing the personnel records, and a constituent in Indiana’s First District filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) asking the body to investigate the leak.
“For all of the good the ‘me too’ movement has done, apparently when it comes to female candidates who are Republicans and running against a male Democrat congressman, none of those lessons apply. Forcing Jennifer-Ruth Green to publicly discuss such a violent trauma in the final weeks of the campaign as a way to get ahead in an election is sickening, disgraceful, and in this case, illegal,” John M. Nason wrote to the OCE.
The Mrvan campaign did not respond to the Daily Caller’s previous request for comment on the complaint.
“The walls are closing in on Congressman Mrvan. He denied any involvement in obtaining and leaking Jennifer-Ruth Green’s military records. Now we know the Air Force did release documents illegally to a Democrat opposition research firm. And we know what firm it was and we know they work for the DCCC, which has been coordinating so closely with Frank Mrvan that every ad he’s aired in this race they split the cost of. To believe Mrvan and his cronies didn’t know is laughable. There is more to come,” Green campaign communications director Kevin Hansberger told the Daily Caller.
Elections handicappers such as the Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball, consider the race a toss-up. Democrats have represented Indiana’s First District since 1931.