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The 21-year-old Air National Guard member accused of leaking highly sensitive military documents was warned multiple times about his handling of classified information, prosecutors alleged Wednesday, as the Department of Justice pushes to keep the defendant behind bars before one of the most high-profile document leak trials in recent history.
Prosecutors shared Air Force memoranda detailing three different instances since September in which defendant Jack Teixeira allegedly displayed misconduct—including pocketing notes he took on classified intelligence and using a computer to look at intelligence that was unrelated to his duties with the Massachusetts Air National Guard.
News about the warnings to Teixeira comes days before a judge will determine whether the accused leaker stays behind bars while awaiting trial.
Defense lawyers for Teixeira argued for him to be released to his father’s custody, claiming he doesn’t pose a flight risk and he never intended for the classified documents that he leaked to a private Discord server to become widely available.
The DOJ previously argued that Teixeira “poses a serious flight risk,” considering the mounting evidence against him and his potential prison sentence of up to 25 years—on Wednesday, the DOJ pointed to Teixeira’s previous warnings for mishandling classified information as proof he understood he wasn’t allowed to share the documents.
Teixeira was arrested in the middle of April after he allegedly shared records on the war in Ukraine in addition to other classified information with a Discord group called Thug Shaker Central. Prosecutors allege Teixeira would regularly share annotated discussions of classified information with the group. The records did not stay within the instant messaging platform, and ended up being shared on Russian-language Telegram channels and popular social media apps. Initially, The New York Times reported that Teixeira could be indicted for Espionage Act violations. Officials such as President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky indicated that the compromised information was a consequential loss. Some of the leaked documents contain frank assessments of Russian and Ukrainian troop strength and sensitive disclosures of U.S. allies’ behavior, though they don’t appear to contain detailed war plans.
A previous filing by the Justice Department said that Teixeira regularly made “racial threats” and was suspended from his high school in 2018 for comments made about using Molotov cocktails.
Accused Pentagon leaker was warned repeatedly about his mishandling of classified documents, prosecutors say (CNN)
21-Year-Old Airman Jack Teixeira Arrested For Ukraine Document Leak (Forbes)
Classified Leaker Teixeira Tried Destroying Evidence And Should Remain In Jail, DOJ Argues (Forbes)
What We Know About Jack Teixeira—And The Discord Group Where He Allegedly Leaked Ukraine War Secrets (Forbes)