Jack Teixeira Pleads Not Guilty to Leaking Classified Documents
Jack Teixeira, the Air National Guardsman accused of leaking highly classified military documents, pleaded not guilty in court on Wednesday to six federal charges.
Teixeira, 21, was indicted last week on six counts of willful retention and transmission of classified information related to the national defense. He faces up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count.
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He was arrested on April 13 following a manhunt into who had leaked the documents, and a judge granted the prosecution’s motion to keep him behind bars while awaiting trial on May 19.
Teixeira has been accused of leaking hundreds of documents that provided previously unknown details surrounding the reach of the U.S. intelligence community and revealed key information regarding allies and adversaries alike, including on the war in Ukraine.
He was accused of first taking notes on classified information to share those details in a private group on the platform Discord, and he later allegedly began printing documents out, taking them home, photographing them, and then posting them in the group. He had been doing this for months before someone else in the chat began posting them on other social media platforms, which is where they were uncovered and reshared.
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The airman, who had a top-secret clearance while working in the 102 Intelligence Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, was reprimanded twice for the improper handling of classified material in September and October of 2022, though in neither case did it rise to the level of restricting his access, according to prosecutors. Then, in January, he was seen using a Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System machine, and the person who saw him found him viewing “content not related to his primary duty and was related to the intelligence field.”
Prosecutors have also alleged Teixeira destroyed evidence and encouraged others in the group chat to do the same as authorities were closing in on identifying him as the apparent source of the leak back in April.
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