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Research group that improperly obtained military records of GOP candidates was paid by two Dem committees
February 25 2023, 08:00

A research firm that received improperly released private military records of Republican candidates ahead of the 2022 midterm elections was funded by two campaign groups working to elect Democrats to the House and Senate. 

According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) 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 (DCCC) between January 2021 and December 2022, according to public FEC filings. 

Besides the DSCC and the DCCC, no other campaigns, PACs or committees that itemize disbursements employed Due Diligence Group, according to a search of FEC records.


When asked about the campaign committees' connection to the firm, neither the DCCC nor DSCC responded to Fox News Digital's requests for comment for this story.

The Air Force said earlier this month that Abraham Payton, a partner of Due Diligence Group, requested and was provided with the private military records of several Republican midterm candidates ahead of their elections. 

Payton's bio page is no longer available online, but an archived version of Due Diligence Group's website shows he "joined a democratic SuperPAC in 2011," where he "produced over 100 opposition research books and managed over 4,000 public record requests."

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.

Reps. Don Bacon, R-Neb., and Zach Nunn, R-Iowa, have called for an investigation into potential illegal activity concerning the release of their records after they were both notified by the Air Force that their military records were released improperly while they were campaigning in the 2022 midterm elections. The Air Force also told at least one member of Congress that Payton already had his Social Security number.

Former GOP House candidate Jennifer-Ruth Green was another veteran whose personnel records, including details of a sexual assault that occurred during her time in the Air Force, were released to the public without her consent. The Air Force admitted in a letter that her military personnel records were released to a third party "without proper redaction."


"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 told Fox News Digital.

The Air Force recently confirmed to Fox News that an internal audit "determined there was an unauthorized release of military duty information on 11 individuals" from October 2021 through October 2022.

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.

Ann Stefanek, Air Force spokesperson, reportedly said that "virtually all" of the 11 unapproved releases were made to the same third party, Politico reported.

"Knowing that this third party paid by the Dem Campaign Congressional Committee was able to obtain my Social Security number and fraudulently use it to obtain my military records is concerning, not only for myself and the other ten affected, but to every single veteran," Bacon said in a statement to Fox News Digital. "Veterans deserve peace of mind knowing their information is safe and will be protected from political dirty tricksters."

Fox News' Aaron Kliegman contributed to this report.