The New York City Police Department launched an internal review of two active officers after their names and phone numbers were reportedly found in leaked data that apparently belongs to the Oath Keepers, a far-right, anti-government militia, a law enforcement official told CNN.
The leak came to light earlier this week when Distributed Denial of Secrets, an anti-secrecy group, published 5 gigabytes of apparent Oath Keepers data.
The data leak appears to include emails between Oath Keepers and prospective members, records of member fees, and copies of members’ online chats on political issues.
“The incident is under internal review,” a spokesperson for the NYPD said when asked for a response to the report claiming two officers names appeared in documents associated with the Oath Keepers.
It’s unclear in what context the NYPD officers were associated with the data from the leak, or if they are current or former members.
Neither officer is being investigated for any potential participation in the January 6 insurrection. To date, no active NYPD officer has been found to have participated in the riot.
The Daily Dot first reported details of the hack this week, and the Gothamist/WNYC first reported the apparent connection to NYPD officers.
Mayor de Blasio: There will be full investigation
When asked about the report Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said “there will be a full investigation to find out if any officer was involved, how were they involved, what did they do, what did they say, if it’s the kind of thing that would disqualify them from serving.”
Officials at the daily mayoral briefing were also asked if there was ever a comprehensive review of the NYPD, its members and their possible ties to extremist groups.
In the context of that question, NYPD Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes, on hand at the mayor’s daily briefing for a separate announcement, said, “if we receive an allegation of someone being affiliated with those particular groups, then that would definitely automatically trigger a thorough investigation.”
The Gothamist also reported that two Republican Party members in New York state were named in the hacked database.
Thomas Zmich, a Republican candidate for Queens Borough president, told CNN that he was a member of the Oath Keepers from 2015-2018 and that he joined because he believes in the Constitution and the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
He said there is no longer a New York chapter of the Oath Keepers. “It was dissipated,” he said.
When asked if he was concerned about the optics of being a former member of the Oath Keepers, Zmich said, “you can call me anything you want, just don’t call me late for dinner.”
CNN has reached out to a lawyer who has represented the Oath Keepers organization in several insurrection-related lawsuits.
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