Democrats paid groups to steal military records of Republicans

Democrats paid a pair of opposition research groups that allegedly lied in order to obtain Air Force records on nearly a dozen Republican lawmakers, according to a published report.

According to records from the Federal Elections Commission, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee paid over US$280,000 to the opposition research company Due Diligence, according to Federal Election Commission records reviewed by the Daily Caller.

The group obtained the service records of Republican Representatives Don Bacon of Nebraska and Zach Nunn of Iowa, among others, the outlet reported.

Last October, the Air Force initiated an investigation when the Due Diligence Group gained access to the service records of Jennifer-Ruth Green, a Republican candidate and former Air Force veteran. This unauthorized release resulted in the disclosure of a sexual assault that Green experienced during her military service. Green ultimately lost the election to Democratic Representative Frank Mrvan of Indiana. According to Politico, the Air Force informed two Republican congressional candidates, Sam Peters and Kevin Dellicker, that their records had also been improperly released.

“The Air Force Personnel Record Center received multiple requests from Abraham Payton, Background Investigation Analyst with Due Diligence Group, LLC, for your military personnel records,” Air Force Maj. Gen. Troy E. Dunn noted in a letter to Bacon on Feb. 7. “He inappropriately requested copies of your military personnel records for the stated purpose of employment and benefits.”

The Air Force stated to the Examiner that they had mistakenly sent the records to the Due Diligence Group. Republican Rep. Scott Franklin of Florida, who sits on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, pledged to investigate the issue.

“The unauthorized disclosure of @RepDonBacon, @ZachNunn & 9 others’ service records is an unacceptable failure,” Franklin tweeted.

According to Dunn’s communication to Bacon, the Air Force’s investigation concluded that the unauthorized disclosure of information was not a criminal or intentional act. However, the responsible employee was held accountable for their actions.

The Republicans involved are nevertheless seeking clarification on whether the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and their Democratic opponents were involved in receiving or utilizing the information that was obtained from the unauthorized disclosure.

“Look, you sanction a hitman to kill somebody, you’re guilty of a crime. You sanction somebody to steal, you’re guilty of a crime”, Peters told Politico last week. “And the DCCC needs to be [held to account], and I fully intend on making sure they are”.

The Air Force has identified 11 people in total as affected by the “unauthorized release of military duty information”.

Politico noted further:

POLITICO was told by the person who gave it Green’s military records that they were obtained through a public records request. POLITICO reviewed the request for the records made by a third party, which sought a “publicly releasable/redacted copy of OMPF [Official Military Personnel File] per Freedom of Information Act statutes”. The requester identified the purpose of the request as relating to “benefits”, “employment” and “other”.

POLITICO also reviewed the letter sent in response to the requester. A military employee responded with a password-protected version of the file with limited redactions. After publication, the Air Force said it erred in releasing the records and launched an investigation.

In regards to Peters, the Air Force notification indicated that in February 2022, a particular form from his record called the DD Form 214 was improperly disclosed, followed by the release of his military personnel records to Payton approximately three weeks later. Dellicker was also informed that his DD Form 214 was mistakenly disclosed to Payton in February 2022.

Bacon said in an interview that Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has referred the results of its internal review to the Justice Department, Politico noted.

“This social engineering trick that [Payton] pulled was made more credible because according to the Air Force, he already had my Social Security number. Now, the Air Force still isn’t supposed to release this information without my signature”, Dellicker told the outlet.

Last week, House Armed Services Committee Chair Mike Rogers and Oversight Committee Chair James Comer wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, requesting a comprehensive list of all individuals who were impacted by the unauthorized release of records.

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