An academic review board at the U.S. Army War College has begun its examination of the plagiarism allegations against Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.), according to The Associated Press.
Walsh, the Senate’s lone Iraq War veteran, announced last week he would not seek reelection in the wake of a New York Times article that revealed he lifted roughly a quarter of his master’s thesis.
"The 2007 research paper from my time at the U.S. Army War College has become a distraction from the debate you expect and deserve. I am ending my campaign so that I can focus on fulfilling the responsibility entrusted to me as your U.S. senator," he said in a statement.
Walsh’s decision to drop out of the race has led Democrats to all but give up on holding on to the seat. Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) is virtually guaranteed to win in the fall, bringing Republicans one step closer to gaining the majority.
The War College’s review board, composed of faculty members, will look into the evidence and make a recommendation on possible disciplinary action to the school’s leadership.
Walsh was given the opportunity to appear before the panel or offer documentation in his defense, though it is unclear if he chose to do so, the AP reported.
The review board could suggest any number of options, from the school taking no action against Walsh to revoking his master’s degree in strategic studies.
The Defense Department and U.S. Army inspectors general will also be informed of the panel’s findings.
The War College has revoked the diplomas of eight former students since 1990, according to information released by the school last month. Six were for plagiarism and two were for misconduct. Any plaques bearing his name could also be removed from the metal plate at the front of the college.
A spokeswoman for the War College did not immediately respond to a request for comment.