The Air Force improperly released the service records of Republican Reps. Don Bacon of Nebraska and Zach Nunn of Iowa to a Democratic Party operative, the two lawmakers say.
A researcher for the consulting firm Due Diligence Group requested Bacon’s service records, saying he needed them for “employment and benefits.” The Air Force does not believe that any Air Force employee acted with “malicious intent,” Major General Troy Dunn wrote in a Feb. 7 letter to Bacon. The Air Force began investigating the alleged leaks after the branch improperly released the service records of GOP candidate and veteran Jennifer-Ruth Green to the Due Diligence Group, Politico reported Tuesday.
“I understand the evidence has been turned over to the Department of Justice and I expect those who break the law to be prosecuted,” Bacon told Politico. “This was more than just ‘dirty tricks’ by Democrat operatives, but likely violations of the law.” (RELATED: Tom Cotton Puts Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin On Blast Over ‘Woke’ Military Training)
“The recent targeting of Members of Congress’s personnel military records [and] the breach of sensitive data … taken by political hacks isn’t only a violation of public trust — it’s criminal,” Nunn added.
The Air Force’s letter to Bacon named Abraham Payton, an analyst with the Due Diligence Group, as the individual who improperly requested Bacon’s information. Payton had access to Bacon’s Social Security number, according to the letter, and the branch subsequently released information to him that should have been protected by the Privacy Act of 1974.
Twelve Air Force veterans, including Bacon and Nunn, currently serve in the House of Representatives. The Air Force did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment on whether or not the eight unnamed individuals whose records were released ran for the House during the 2022 midterms. Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told Politico that “virtually all” of the records were released to the same person.
Politico published a report in October 2022 detailing Green’s service record, including details of a sexual assault, that would have been redacted under the Freedom of Information Act. The outlet claimed it received the unredacted information through a “public records request.”
Members of Congress demanded investigations into the release of Green’s personal information, and her campaign blamed incumbent Democratic Indiana Rep. Frank Mrvan for the release. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) paid the Due Diligence Group nearly $110,000 during the 2022 cycle, according to Federal Election Commission filings. The DCCC spent nearly $1.4 million in independent expenditures against Green. Mrvan’s campaign has repeatedly denied any involvement.
National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Richard Hudson of North Carolina urged the Department of Justice to investigate the releases.
“This systematic weaponization of Republican candidates’ military service against them is beyond disgusting. It is time for the DCCC to stop hiding and face accountability for their actions. The Department of Justice must immediately begin investigations into this matter and if the DCCC violated the law, they should face prosecution,” he said in a statement.