The Massachusetts Air National Guard member accused of leaking highly classified military documents has been repeatedly tipped off by his superiors for handling or viewing classified information, prosecutors say.
Justice Department lawyers made the disclosure in court documents filed Wednesday, urging a judge to keep 21-year-old Jack Teixeira behind bars pending trial in the case.
Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy is expected to hear more arguments at prosecutors’ request and issue a decision on Teixeira’s pretrial detention status at a hearing on Friday.
Teixeira is accused of sharing highly classified documents on major national security issues in a chat room on Discord, a social media platform that started out as a hangout for gamers. He has yet to enter a plea in the case.
The documents, which have spread widely online, laid bare US concerns about Ukraine’s military capability against invading Russian forces and embarrassingly exposed Washington’s apparent spying on Ukraine’s allies. Israel and South Korea.
Jack Teixeira, 21, has been repeatedly warned by his superiors for handling or viewing classified information, prosecutors say
Several memos leaked by prosecutors noted that superiors were concerned about Teixeira’s behavior regarding classified information and repeatedly warned him about the matter.
Prosecutors told the judge in their filing that Teixeira continued to release documents even after being reprimanded by his superiors twice last year for “concerning actions” he took regarding classified information.
A September memo from the Air National Guard’s 102nd Intelligence Wing that prosecutors filed in court says Teixeira was observed taking notes on classified information and putting it in his pocket.
Teixeira was instructed at the time to no longer take notes in any form on classified intelligence information, the memo said.
Another memo from late October said a superior had been told that Teixeira was “potentially ignoring the order to cease and desist from delving deeply into intelligence information” given to him the previous month.
The memo says Teixeira attended a meeting and asked “very specific questions.” He was again told to focus on his job, not “deep dives” into classified information.
Yet a third note from February indicates that Teixeira was again observed consulting information “which was not related to his main function and was related to the field of intelligence”. Teixeira “had already been advised to focus on his own professional duties and not to pursue intelligence products,” the memo said.
“The defendant even continued to share information with his associates online, defying these warnings and increasing his efforts to cover up his unlawful conduct,” prosecutors wrote.
Prosecutors cited a video clip published by The Washington Post (above), in which Teixeira is seen spitting racial slurs before raising a semi-automatic rifle and firing repeatedly
Prosecutors shared this certificate showing that Teixeira had undergone training in handling classified information, arguing that he clearly knew the leaked documents were a mistake.
This image, contained in the Justice Department’s motion for Jack Teixeira’s continued detention, shows his bedroom at his father’s home in North Dighton, Massachusetts
The revelations raised questions about why military officials took no further action and why Teixeira continued to have access to classified information after his superiors raised concerns.
Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh was asked Thursday why Teixeira leaders failed to act after concerns were raised.
Singh referenced Justice Department and Air Force investigations, and said those concerns and the potential lack of response to them were one of the areas the investigations would examine.
A judge is expected to rule on Teixeira’s provisional release request on Friday
Lawyers for Teixeira, who was arrested last month on charges under the Espionage Act, are urging the judge to release Teixeira to his father’s home, noting that the man did not flee when the media began publishing his name shortly before his arrest on April 13.
His lawyer told the judge last month that Teixeira will “answer the charges” and “will be judged by his fellow citizens”.
In their own court filing on Wednesday, Teixeira’s lawyers noted that there had been numerous espionage law cases in which the courts had approved the release or the government had not sought to keep the person behind. the bars before the trial.
They also said there were no allegations that Teixeira ever intended the documents to be widely distributed.
But prosecutors said in their filing on Wednesday that one of the servers of the social media platform on which he posted classified information had at least 150 users at the time the information was shared and “may now have many more users who actively seek access to information”. ‘
“Among the people with whom the defendant shared government information, there are a number of people who said they resided in other countries and who logged into the social media platform using foreign IP addresses,” prosecutors wrote.
In Discord messages, Teixeira bragged about the breadth of information he had access to and said he was breaking “a ton” of regulations, according to chat logs shared in court filings.
Leaked documents like the one above, which have spread widely on Twitter and Russia-based Telegram, leaked information about the war in Ukraine, among other information.
In posts, Teixeira bragged about the breadth of information he had access to, writing, “The information I give here is less than half of what is available,” prosecutors said.
He also acknowledged he wasn’t supposed to share the information, prosecutors said, noting in a light-hearted message: ‘I bust a ton of UD [unauthorized disclosure] regs’.
Teixeira continued, “Everything I told you guys I’m not supposed to do,” according to the Justice Department filing.
Judge Hennessy heard arguments from lawyers on the detention late last month, but has yet to issue a ruling and has scheduled a second hearing on the issue on Friday after several lawsuits.
In previous court filings, prosecutors have alleged that Teixeira kept a “virtual arsenal” of weapons at his father’s home before his arrest and that he had a history of making violent and disturbing remarks.
The leaked documents appear to detail US and NATO assistance to Ukraine and US intelligence assessments of which US allies may strain ties with those countries.
Some show real-time details from February and March on the battlefield positions of Ukraine and Russia and the precise number of battlefield equipment lost and newly introduced into Ukraine by its allies.