EXCLUSIVE: The Air Force has taken responsibility for the release of an Indiana Republican House candidate’s confidential personnel records that contained details about her sexual assault, according to two GOP congressmen from the Hoosier State.
In a joint statement that was first shared with Fox News Digital, Indiana GOP Rep. Jim Banks, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, and Indiana GOP Rep. Larry Bucshon, described a discussion they had with Air Force Inspector General Lt. Gen. Stephen Davis about the Air Force Personnel Center’s release of Indiana 1st Congressional District candidate Air Force Lt. Col. Jennifer-Ruth Green’s confidential personnel records.
“On yesterday’s call, 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 congressmen also stated that there is an investigation underway to determine “whether the leaker had a political or financial motive” or had an accomplice in the release of Green’s records.
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“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 congressmen said.
Earlier this month, in a profile of Green’s career and candidacy in the contentious Indiana congressional race, Politico reporter Adam Wren used the personnel records, which the outlet claimed “were obtained by a public records request and provided to Politico by a person outside the Mrvan campaign” to report that “an Iraqi serviceman sexually assaulted [Green] by grabbing her breast and exposing himself” when “she and a small group of officers visited the national training center.”
“The Air Force improperly affected a competitive House race and must provide transparency before election day,” Banks and Bucshon said. “We are calling on the Air Force to publicly take responsibility for mishandling Lt. Col. Green’s service records. Additionally, before the midterm election, the Air Force should release any information it has regarding the financial relationship between the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] and the opposition research firm that sent confidential records to Politico’s Adam Wren to smear a servicemember who happens to be running for public office.”
“No servicemember should have to fear that their confidential service records will be used against them,” they added. “The Air Force must take immediate steps towards transparency for the sake of all veterans and servicemembers.”
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The Air Force inspector general did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
During an interview with Fox News Digital this month, Green, whose career with the U.S. military spans more than 20 years, reacted to the Politico story and accused the outlet of proceeding with the publication of the story “despite having clear interaction and engagement and telling them that the records were illegally obtained.”
Green insisted that Wren failed to garner the full story of the incident and took her “experience and diminished it to a place where he can just say a clinical report of exactly what happened.”
“I’m surprised because Adam Wren spent time in this article focusing on every single detail down to the skirt I was wearing, down to the color of the skirt I was wearing, down to every single knob I touched, all of those things, but yet he writes clinically about one of the worst days of my life,” Green said at the time. “He has no idea the concept of being forced to be in a four by four, round circular area, 30 feet in the ground in a tower where you only have windows and a 30-foot drop on the other side, 30-foot drop to escape somebody who was blocking your path [with] somebody who has a clear intent with a weapon in hand, who is focused on trying to take advantage of you, and you’re able to escape that with minimal physical harm. And he wants to reduce that to 50 characters.”
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Green wrote a letter on Oct. 3 to the relevant U.S. attorney, the Air Force inspector general and the Department of Defense to request a criminal investigation into how the documents were provided to Politico.
“I write to request an investigation into the unauthorized, unlawful release of my Air Force personnel file,” Green wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Fox News Digital. “The fact that my file has been leaked in the course of my campaign for United States Congress leads me to believe that it was politically motivated.”
In the letter, Green made it clear that she “did not consent, in writing or otherwise, to the disclosure of my personnel file to Politico or anyone else” and pointed to the Privacy Act of 1974, as proof that her file should not have been released.
“Coming as when it does — in the closing weeks of my campaign for Congress — makes me believe that this is a politically motivated attempt to impact the upcoming election,” Green wrote in the letter.
Green will face off against incumbent Democrat Rep. Frank Mrvan to represent Indiana’s 1st Congressional District in the House on Nov. 8.