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Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., speaks to reporters on his way to a closed-door GOP caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 10, 2023.
Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., speaks to reporters on his way to a closed-door GOP caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 10, 2023.Drew Angerer / Getty Images file

Republicans up calls for probe into release of military records for GOP candidates

House GOP campaign arm seeks answers for unauthorized releases.


The House Republicans' campaign arm is calling for an investigation into the unauthorized release of military records belonging to a handful of candidates and lawmakers.

The issue first surfaced late last year when the Air Force confirmed it had inadvertently released certain military records of Jennifer Ruth-Green, a Republican who was running for Congress in Indiana.

At the time, Politico reported on those records, which included a reference to her saying she was sexually assaulted while serving in Iraq. The outlet said it was told the information was obtained through a public records request by a third party, but the Air Force subsequently said the military shouldn't have released that information.

Earlier this month, Fox News reported that House committee chairmen have asked Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to investigate the leak of data belonging to 11 individuals.

And now the National Republican Congressional Committee's chairman, North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson, is calling for the Justice Department to investigate the "systemic weaponization of Republican candidates' military service against them."

Nebraska Republican Rep. Don Bacon's office provided NBC News with a letter from the Air Force that confirms the "unauthorized release of your military records" and notes that those records were "improperly" turned over to a representative from Due Diligence Group, LLC who provided Bacon's social security number to the Air Force Personnel Center Military Records Branch.

House Democrats' campaign arm paid Due Diligence more than $100,000 for research last cycle, leading to criticism from Republicans.

Bacon, and other Republicans, pointed to those payments to criticize Democrats, while calling for an investigation.

"Veterans deserve peace of mind knowing their information is safe and will be protected from political dirty tricksters," he said in a statement.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee did not return a request for comment about whether it received any military personnel information as part of the research it paid Due Diligence to conduct.

Iowa Republican Rep. Zach Nunn's communications director, Lydia Hall, confirmed to NBC News that Nunn was also told his records were improperly released.

“The recent targeting of Members of Congress’s personnel military records, the breach of sensitive data, and the duplicitous forgery taken by political hacks isn’t only a violation of public trust — it’s criminal," Nunn said in a statement.

"As a country, we should be supporting veterans who want to continue their service instead of harassing and intimidating them. I strongly support bipartisan efforts being undertaken by the House Armed Services Committee to protect our service members and hold criminal actors accountable.”

Politico first reported on Bacon and Nunn's statements.