EXCLUSIVE: Republicans are using their new majority on the House Armed Services Committee to demand answers from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin concerning the leaked records that outed former Indiana GOP congressional candidate Jennifer-Ruth Green as a survivor of sexual assault last year.
In a Monday letter, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., the committee’s chairman, and Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sent a joint letter to Austin to demand that he provide a number of items related to the leak to Congress, 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.
Green’s sexual assault was first reported by Politico in October ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, in which she was running as the Republican nominee in Indiana’s 1st Congressional District against incumbent Democrat Rep. Frank Mrvan.
She blasted the publication for running the ‘smear’ story, saying it did so without her permission, got the records without her knowledge and reopened the wounds caused by the trauma of the assault itself.
A subsequent investigation found that the Air Force had leaked Green’s records to a private opposition research firm, leading to it making a full admission and taking ‘full responsibility’ for the improper release.
‘It is essential that the men and women of the Armed Forces trust their leadership’s ability to protect private personnel data from improper disclosure,’ the letter from Rogers and Comer read. ‘The release of Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) outside the proper processes violates Department of Defense (DOD) policy and the Privacy Act of 1974, and if done pursuant to a public request, may also violate protections afforded under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).’
The letter added that the Air Force informed the committee that it released records for 11 individuals between October 2021 and December 2022 to the private research firm that ‘allegedly misrepresented itself’ to obtain the records.
‘This conduct by the Air Force is, at a minimum, unacceptable. The conduct by the research firm is quite possibly criminal,’ the congressmen wrote.
The letter then demanded that Austin provide the committee with a list of the improperly released records of congressional candidates over the past two years, a status report on the notifications to those impacted by the improper release, and the regulations and policies pertaining to the safeguards for proper release.
It also demands information on whether there are any active investigations or criminal referrals pertaining to the leak.
Austin has until Feb. 27 to comply with the letter.
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.