GOP midterm candidate sounds off on ‘criminal’ request of his private military records by Dem-aligned group

Due Diligence Group, a Democrat-linked research firm, attempted to obtain the private military records of GOP congressional candidate and Army National Guard Sergeant Colin Schmitt ahead of his midterm election, marking the group’s third known request of a Republican candidate’s military records during the 2022 election cycle alone. Abraham Payton, co-founder of Due Diligence Group, reportedly filed a request to the New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs in August, using Schmitt’s Social Security Number to try and obtain his private military records, according to a form obtained by Politico. After only recently being notified of the attempt to gain a copy of his private records, Schmitt is demanding legal action “to the fullest extent.” “The illegal use of my social security number to attempt to gain access to my private military records by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is criminal. It appears that a coordinated campaign to target myself and other Congressional Republicans across the country who serve or have served our nation was for political gain,” Schmitt told Fox News Digital in a statement. “I have spoken with Congressman Don Bacon and have offered to fully participate in the House Committees Investigations into these illegal acts.” RESEARCH GROUP THAT IMPROPERLY OBTAINED MILITARY RECORDS OF GOP CANDIDATES WAS PAID BY TWO DEM COMMITTEES “I am thankful that the New York Army National Guard notified me of the attempt to illegally access my information and worked to protect me. I am working with counsel to continue to review if any additional attempts were made to illegally use my social security number and steal my private records to weaponize against me for political purposes,” he continued. “All campaigns, candidates and consultants who used these illegal actions must be held accountable to the fullest extent criminally and civilly.” The reports come after it was found that several GOP candidates’ private military records were being released to the same research firm without their knowledge. On Feb. 8, GOP midterm candidates Sam Peters of Nevada and Kevin Dellicker of Pennsylvania were reportedly notified that Payton from Due Diligence Group made “multiple requests” for their military personnel records last year. Reps. Don Bacon, R-Neb., and Zach Nunn, R-Iowa, were also both notified by the Air Force that their military records were released improperly while they were campaigning in the 2022 midterm elections. The two are leading an investigation into potential illegal activity concerning the release of their and their fellow Republicans’ military records. HOUSE REPUBLICANS SLAM DOD’S ‘UNACCEPTABLE’ DELAY IN PROVIDING ANSWER ON IMPROPER RELEASE OF MILITARY RECORDS House Armed Services Committee Chair Mike Rogers, R-Ala., and House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, R-Ky., requested that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin provide the committee with a list of the improperly released records of congressional candidates over the past two years, but did not receive a response by the Feb. 27 deadline. According to a source close to the GOP investigation, the Defense Department informed the committee it would provide an answer to the letter by March 17. It was also recently reported that Due Diligence Group was paid by only two campaign groups during the 2022 election cycle, both seeking to elect Democratic candidates in the House and the Senate. According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee gave $173,000 to Due Diligence Group during the 2022 election season, including three separate payments of over 30,000 after the election. The firm also received more than $110,000 from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee between January 2021 and December 2022, according to public FEC filings. The Democrat-linked firm specializes in “using public records research to provide our clients with the knowledge and insights needed to drive strategic decision-making,” according to its website. Fox News’ Kyle Morris contributed to this report.
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