‘SMEAR MACHINE’: Indiana Republican sounds off after Air Force admits to ‘unauthorized release’ of her records

EXCLUSIVE: Former Indiana GOP congressional candidate Jennifer-Ruth Green says she feels “vindicated,” yet “frustrated,” after the Air Force admitted in a letter sent to her Wednesday that her military personnel records – the source of a pre-election Politico story that documented details about her sexual assault during her service in the branch – were released to a third party “without proper redaction.”

Speaking by phone to Fox News Digital about the letter of admission, which Green received from acting Compliance Division Chief William J. Alexander Jr., the Indiana Republican who challenged Democrat Rep. Frank Mrvan to represent Indiana’s 1st Congressional District last November lamented the failures of those in the media who worked to be a part of the “Democrat smear machine.”

“I feel like I’m vindicated in what I’ve been saying all along. There are people that accused me of trying to have a last ditch smear effort on the congressman, and the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee], and the Democrat machine,” Green said. 

“It happened exactly how I said it happened. My documents were obtained not through a FOIA request like Politico falsely claimed. Politico’s lawyers knew better, they knew these documents couldn’t be obtained through FOIA, and they worked to be part of the Democrat smear machine… they lied to cover their tracks,” she continued.

Following the October 2022 story from Politico, Indiana GOP Reps. Jim Banks and Larry Bucshon spoke with Air Force Inspector General Lt. Gen. Stephen Davis about the release of Green’s records. At the time, the congressman, as well as the Air Force, noted the matter was still under investigation.

JENNIFER-RUTH GREEN TAKES AIM AT POLITICAL OPPOSITION AFTER POLITICO PUBLISHES RECORDS OF HER SEXUAL ASSAULT

Jennifer-Ruth Green, former Republican candidate to represent Indiana's 1st Congressional District in the state's November 2022 midterm election.

Jennifer-Ruth Green, former Republican candidate to represent Indiana’s 1st Congressional District in the state’s November 2022 midterm election. (Jennifer-Ruth Green campaign)

“In this case, we reviewed our processes on the release of Department of the Air Force records to the public to determine whether the release of your OPR was made by DAF personnel through the Freedom of Information Act process or other official process, such as through Public Affairs,” Alexander wrote in the Wednesday letter to Green. “We found that your information was released by the Air Force Personal Center to a third-party (‘Due Diligence’), a private company specializing in public record research without your consent via a SF-180 request.”

“The findings indicated that Due Diligence Group LLC requested ‘Publicly releasable/redacted copy of your OMPF per Freedom of Information Act statutes,’” Alexander added. “Ten interviews of personnel involved in this release who were in roles related to military records, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), or Privacy Act (PA) to determine if any criminal intent existed. It was concluded that a PII breach did occur due to the unauthorized release of your military personnel records to a third party without proper redaction. Based on all interviews, no evidence was presented to indicate any criminal intent on the part of the Air Force.”

There are also “many other actors in the middle” of the situation, according to Green, who said she believes the media is the “working arm of the Dems.”

“The local media in Northwest Indiana, they attacked me for demanding accountability. They were wrong, and they should retract their false reporting. The Due Diligence Group, they’re the Democrat opposition research firm who were hired by the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee to dig up dirt on me and attempt to smear my military career. But of course, as we talked about, they outed me as a survivor of sexual assault in the process.”

Last year, in a profile of Green’s career and candidacy in the contentious Indiana congressional race, Politico used the personnel records, which the outlet claimed “were obtained by a public records request and provided to Politico by a person outside the Mrvan campaign,” to report that “an Iraqi serviceman sexually assaulted [Green] by grabbing her breast and exposing himself” when “she and a small group of officers visited the national training center.”

AIR FORCE TAKESUPPORTERS RUSH TO DEFEND JENNIFER-RUTH GREEN AFTER POLITICO OUTED HER AS SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVOR

Jennifer-Ruth Green and Rep. Frank Mrvan faced off to represent Indiana's 1st Congressional District on Nov. 8. Mrvan came out on top, defeating Green by less than five points.

Jennifer-Ruth Green and Rep. Frank Mrvan faced off to represent Indiana’s 1st Congressional District on Nov. 8. Mrvan came out on top, defeating Green by less than five points. (Jennifer-Ruth Green campaign, Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee closely coordinated with Congressman Mrvan’s campaign, and they ran over $1,000,000 in coordinated ads,” she added. “So, the idea that Congressman Mrvan and his cronies were not involved in obtaining my records, and the DCCC working independently to leak my records without the Mrvan campaign’s knowledge, is disingenuous and it’s laughable. I feel vindicated, but I feel really frustrated because I don’t even know what’s worse, the fact that Congressman Mrvan’s allies did it, or the fact that he continues to lie about it and play the victim, but either way, he’s just unfit for political office – his lack of integrity is unsettling.”

Asked whether she believes the Air Force’s improper release of her military records contributed to her election loss against Mrvan, Green said: “I think the fact that the liberal left media would not accurately be unbiased in covering the truth, that definitely had an impact because people didn’t get to hear the realities of what our congressman is willing to do for gaining a seat.”

“I fully accept the verdict of the people, but I do believe that in the court of public opinion, people did see the difficulties with trusting the congressman,” she added. “What I do know is that in the midst of them obtaining this paperwork, what it’s really done is expose the far left’s media hold and the fact that they are a part of the Democrat machine.”

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Ann Stefanek, chief of media operations for the Air Force, said: “The Air Force takes full responsibility for releasing the information. The investigation determined a junior individual didn’t follow proper procedures. We’ve adjusted our procedures and elevated the approval level to provide additional oversight.”

The Department of the Air Force emblem is seen on a monument in Streator, Illinois, on Oct. 15, 2022.

The Department of the Air Force emblem is seen on a monument in Streator, Illinois, on Oct. 15, 2022. (Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“As originally disclosed in the story, the documents were obtained by a public records request and provided to Politico by a source. That is not at odds with what the Air Force has stated,” a Politico spokesperson told Fox News Digital.

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Regarding her next move, Green said it’s all about “accountability” and working to ensure that what happened to her does not happen to another veteran seeking to be elected to Congress in the future.

“We can’t have this partisan bureaucracy,” she said. “If it is the military doing something malicious and someone in the military helping out the DCCC, we just can’t have that. So we have to demand accountability. I want to thank Senator Cotton, Senator Young, Senator Braun, Congressman Banks, and Congressman Bucshon. They demanded that the military investigate this case – the illegal release of my records – and I hope that members of Congress continue to hold people accountable.”

“For other vets who are considering running, our personnel files are our private property and this invasion is wrong,” Green concluded. “If there any other vets wanting to run, don’t be fearful because I’m going to do my best to continue to hold people accountable, to continue to highlight the hypocrisy of the left, and to not let situations like this continue to occur where we have unaccountable partisan bureaucracy that just gets swept under the rug.”

Fox News Digital did not receive an immediate comment from the DCCC or the Mrvan campaign.

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