Two more GOP congressional candidates have been identified in a leak of military records to a Democratic-aligned research group less than a week after the House Judiciary Committee opened an investigation into the records’ disclosure.
Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall wrote a letter to House Armed Services Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) explaining that an audit discovered 11 people’s records were leaked in total, nine of them “without authority,” to Due Diligence Group between Jan. 1, 2021, and Jan. 3, 2023.
Of the 11 people, seven were candidates for Congress or elected to Congress, and all were leaked to Due Diligence. The two candidates’ names most recently released are Republican J.R. Majewski of Ohio and Republican Robert “Eli” Bremer of Colorado. The five others were already known: Reps. Don Bacon (R-NE) and Zach Nunn (R-IA), Kevin Dellicker, Jennifer-Ruth Green, and Samuel Peters.
Two noncandidates had their records released to Due Diligence Group, and two had theirs released to a different party.
Majewski, who lost in the primary for an Ohio congressional seat in 2022, faced severe scrutiny after he claimed he was an Air Force combat veteran who was deployed to Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, military records showed he never went to Afghanistan but instead went to Qatar for six months. His extreme far-right policies and perpetuation of conspiracy theories also tainted his campaign. Bremer lost in last year’s GOP primary in the race against Sen. Michael Bennett (D-CO).
The House Judiciary Committee launched an investigation and wrote a letter to Kendall on March 15 asking for information related to the unauthorized leak of records.
Both Nunn and Bacon learned of the breach of their records on Feb. 2. Abraham Payton, a background investigator analyst for Due Diligence Group, made multiple record requests to the Air Force Personnel Center on Nov. 9.
Payton said the records were required for employment records. According to the Air Force, Payton already had obtained the Social Security numbers of 11 people.
“Department of the Air Force employees did not follow proper procedures requiring the member’s authorizing signature consenting to the release of information. There was no evidence of political motivation or malicious intent on the part of any employee,” Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told the Washington Examiner. “Through ongoing monthly audits, we are committed to preventing any such unauthorized disclosure of private information from occurring again.”