(CNN) – Republican Sen. Scott Brown, who's running to keep his seat representing Massachusetts, on Tuesday called for Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren to release confidential documents to show whether or not she claimed her Native American roots on job applications.
"The best way to satisfy these questions is for Elizabeth Warren to authorize the release of her law school applications and all personnel files from the various universities where she has taught," Brown said in a statement.
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Warren stirred controversy last week when she confirmed that she had described herself in faculty directories as having Native American heritage while teaching at Harvard Law School. She said she did so in order to meet others with similar backgrounds.
"I listed myself in the directory in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group, something that might happen with people who are like I am," Warren told reporters, according to Boston Herald. She added that she stopped checking off that box, as she felt it was an ineffective in expanding her social circles.
Opponents quickly seized on her comments, arguing she had tried to use minority status as a way to advance her career. Harvard's student newspaper The Crimson printed articles in the late 90s quoting law school administrators hailing Warren's Native American heritage as evidence of faculty diversity.
The New England Historic Genealogical Society provided CNN with initial research last week, showing several members of Warren's maternal family claiming Cherokee heritage. The Native American link extends to Warren's great-great-great grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith, who is said to be described as Cherokee in an 1894 marriage license application. NEHGS gathered that information through a 2006 family newsletter, and says the original application cannot be located.
While Brown's campaign has been critical of Warren during the controversy, his team took it a step further Tuesday when the incumbent senator himself urged his opponent to make public some of her private records.
Brown argued Warren's handling of the situation has "cast doubt on her credibility and called into question the diversity practices at Harvard."
Responding to his latest push, Warren's spokeswoman Alethea Harney accused Brown Tuesday of "shamelessly" trying to distract voters by calling attention to the issue.
"Once again, Republican Senator Brown is shamelessly attempting to divert attention from his record on the issues that really matter in this election, like the cost of student loans," Harney said in a statement to CNN, pointing to Brown's vote, along with other Senate Republicans, against a bill Tuesday aimed to prevent student loan interest rates from going up this summer.
"Minutes after Scott Brown voted with his Republican party to double interest rates on student loans, he ridiculously attacked Elizabeth Warren with questions that have already been answered," she added.
While most in the Senate agreed the interest rate should stay at its current level, Democrats and Republicans were divided over how to pay for the extension.
Last week, Warren said she was proud of her Native American heritage but added she was hired at Harvard for her teaching ability, not in an effort to bolster diversity on the university's faculty.
"Being Native American has been part of my story I guess since the day I was born," Warren said. "These are my family stories, I have lived in a family that has talked about Native American and talked about tribes since I was a little girl."
Despite Warren's claim to have embraced her Native American heritage as a child, she has largely avoiding referencing that background on the campaign trail and in her official biography.