The United States Air Force appeared to refute Politico’s claim that a public records request had ultimately given the outlet access to personnel records — including details of an alleged sexual assault — belonging to congressional Republican candidate Jennifer-Ruth Green.
Green, running for a House seat in Indiana, issued a public statement after Politico published a profile on her and included information that could only have come from her personnel records. She blamed her opponent, Congressman Frank Mrvan (D-IN), for illegally obtaining the information.
“[Mrvan’s] team fished the details of my assault to different news outlets, asking them to share misinformation to portray me as a failed military officer who lacks integrity. This is false,” Green tweeted.
I believe after sharing my assault against the advice of some in my command, my career was intentionally derailed. The paperwork Congressman Mrvan illegally obtained contains information that reflects me in a negative light. (5/11)
— Jennifer-Ruth Green (@JenRuthGreen) October 9, 2022
“I believe after sharing my assault against the advice of some in my command, my career was intentionally derailed. The paperwork Congressman Mrvan illegally obtained contains information that reflects me in a negative light,” she continued.
Politico maintained that the information had come from someone “outside” Mrvan’s campaign and had been obtained via a public records request — but Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) raised the question to the Air Force directly, saying that it was illegal for such records to be released without the consent of the person.
“[Officer Performance Reports] could only be released if that member agreed, in writing, to release his or her documents,” Cotton wrote, adding, “Of additional concern is the appearance that [the] party responsible for releasing these Air Force documents may be exploiting private matters, including a sexual assault, for partisan purposes to interfere with the democratic process just weeks before an election. I am therefore formally requesting a full accounting of how and on what basis these documents were released or leaked, and who is responsible.”
The Air Force informed Fox News Digital in a statement that there was no record of Green’s documents being released pursuant to any public records request. The statement also noted that if such documents were ever released, certain details would be redacted in order to protect individual privacy and sensitive information.
“We cannot confirm any documents on this individual were released by the Department of the Air Force under the Freedom of Information Act. In general, any release of information that, if disclosed, would invade another individual’s personal privacy would be reviewed under Exemption FOIA 5U.S.C. §552 (b)(6) with redactions made to ensure compliance with the law. Each document would be reviewed on a case by case basis,” an Air Force spokesman explained.
Mrvan has denied any connection to the documents, tweeting, “Neither myself nor anyone affiliated with my campaign provided any military service record to Politico.”
Neither myself nor anyone affiliated with my campaign provided any military service record to Politico. 1/2 https://t.co/WVInLgXLYZ
— Mrvan for Congress (@mrvan4congress) October 11, 2022
Green has made it clear that she still believes he is responsible, telling Fox News Digital, “I believe Congressman Frank Mrvan illegally obtained those documents and was floating them around to [the] press. That’s what our political team told us, that they were farming it out to several different press outlets to see who could write a very disgusting, ugly smear piece against me with the intent to paint me as a disgraced military officer.”