On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Montana Sen. John Walsh "appropriated at least a quarter" of his 2007 master's thesis for the U.S. Army War College "from other authors' works, with no attribution."
The paper, titled "The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy", contains numerous instances of plagiarism, including the six-point conclusion which was "taken nearly word-for-word without attribution from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace document on the same topic," according to the Times story.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Walsh said the plagiarism was a mistake, and that PTSD from his time in Iraq and stress from a colleague's suicide may have contributed to it.
"I don't want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor. My head was not in a place very conducive to a classroom and an academic environment."
The provost of the Army War College, Lance Betros, told the New York Times that an investigation would begin immediately. "We're not going to treat this any differently than with another student." Concerning the War College's academic integrity policy, Bertros said "we drill that in incessantly."
Wednesday afternoon, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) affirmed its support of Walsh in the race against Republican Steve Daines.
Walsh was appointed to the Senate in February to fill the remainder of former Sen. Max Baucus' term after Baucus stepped down to become U.S. ambassador to China. Now Walsh is struggling to hold on to the seat in a general election race against Republican challenger Steve Daines.