The Air Force confirmed it provided unauthorized access to the military records of seven Republican congressional candidates in 2022.
The Air Force made the admission in a letter to House Armed Services Committee Chair Mike Rogers. R-Ala., and Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, R-Ky., dated Friday.
In addition to the five Republicans already known to have been affected by the breach, the Air Force confirmed the data of GOP candidates J.R. Majewski and Robert “Eli” Bremer were also accessed – this brings the total number of compromised Republicans to seven.
The other Republican candidates whose records were released to the Democratic Party-aligned research firm are Rep. Donald Bacon, Rep. Zachary Nunn, Kevin Dellicker, Jennifer-Ruth Green and Samuel Peters.
The firm in question is Due Diligence Group, whose Abraham Payton was named by the Air Force in letters to Peters and Dellicker as having made “multiple requests” for their records.
Due Diligence Group received more than $110,000 from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) from January 2021 to December 2022, according to FEC records, although it is unknown if the campaign committee used or received these or any other materials from Due Diligence.
The Air Force told Fox News, “There was no evidence of political motivation or malicious intent on the part of any employee.”
“During the two-year period covered by the timeline in your letter, AFPC received a total of 19,597 requests for military personnel records. Immediately after we became aware in October 2022 of the improper records release concerning Ms. Jennifer-Ruth Green’s records, AFPC conducted a Personal Identifiable Information (PII) breach investigation, as required under OMB and Department of Defense (DoD) policy.”
“AFPC also initiated a seperate audit of all third-party requests (10,599) received between early 2021 and early 2023. That audit identified a total of 11 individuals who had their military records released without proper authority.”
The Air Force said their discovery came from an internal audit that began following the discovery that Republican Indiana House candidate Green’s military records were improperly released. Those records, reported on by Politico in October 2022, included details of a sexual assault.
The release of Green’s records led Rogers and Comer to send a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin demanding information, including a list of the improperly released records of congressional candidates over the past two years and a list of punitive actions taken against those responsible for the leak.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.