The Air Force has taken “full responsibility” for leaking a confidential personnel file of a service member and Republican congressional candidate, which revealed a sexual assault she suffered on duty in Iraq, according to Indiana Reps. Jim Banks and Larry Bucshon. The Air Force leaker gave the files to a Democrat research firm in the lead-up to the midterm elections.
The branch has identified the leaker who released the confidential records of Jennifer-Ruth Green, an Air Force lieutenant colonel and Republican candidate to represent Indiana’s 1st Congressional District, Banks and Bucshon told Fox News.
The Air Force is investigating whether the leaker had a political or financial motive in handing Green’s files to an opposition research firm before the midterm election in which Green is competing, the congressmen said.
It is also investigating “whether the leaker acted alone, and if the Air Force needs to strengthen policies related to its handling of confidential records,” the congressmen said.
Green’s personnel file was used as source material for a Politico profile earlier this month, which stated it had been obtained “by a public records request and provided to Politico” by someone unaffiliated with her Democratic opponent, Frank Mrvan.
The profile says that her “mostly stellar military record” was marred in 2010 by a negative performance review, which said she “lack[ed] judgment” by “wandering away” from a small group of officers on a base in Iraq and climbing into a small guard tower.
She said that once she was inside that tower, an Iraqi serviceman grabbed her breast and exposed himself.
She told Politico her career was “intentionally derailed” after she reported the incident, against her superiors’ advice. The outlet reported that the bad evaluation stalled Green’s career, and a broader reduction of forces saw her removed from active duty in 2012.
In a statement to Politico, Green criticized the outlet for making the incident public using private records she said were improperly obtained in a “smear” attempt.
Before the profile was published, Green wrote to the Air Force inspector general requesting a criminal investigation into how Politico got the files, according to Fox.
In 2017, Green joined the Indiana Air National Guard, where she has consistently received good evaluations, according to Politico.