US prosecutors argue airman suspected of leaking classified documents should remain in government custody News
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US prosecutors argue airman suspected of leaking classified documents should remain in government custody

US government prosecutors argued in court filings Wednesday that Jack Teixeira, the US airman suspected of leaking classified US intelligence documents, should remain detained ahead of his criminal trial. Prosecutors revealed new evidence showing that Teixeira had twice been caught before his arrest viewing classified material unrelated to his official duties. They also argued that messages Teixeira sent on the social media platform Discord show that Teixeira was aware of the illegality of his actions yet persisted anyways.

Teixeira’s defense counsel, in its filings to the court requesting Teixeira’s release, claimed that the government was unable to provide any evidence that “Teixeira currently, or ever, intended any information purportedly to the private social media server to be widely disseminated.” Rather, they argue, Teixeira’s character supports releasing Teixeira from his pre-trial detention to his father’s house in Massachusetts.

However, government prosecutors said that further investigation into Teixeira’s activities regarding the leaked documents shows otherwise.

New evidence reveals that Teixeira not only posted the leaked documents to the private Discord server, as originally reported, but to multiple Discord servers over multiple months. The government identified one such Discord server that had as many as 150 users, some located in foreign countries, at the time the information was posted. On those servers, Teixeira allegedly bragged about his access to classified government documents, given his position as an airman with top-secret security clearance.

It is also clear, from the government’s investigation, that Teixeira was aware that he was not allowed to disseminate the classified information. In December 2022, Teixeira explicitly posted to the servers that he was “breaking a ton of [unauthorized disclosure] regs” in releasing the documents but remarked that he did not care what the law said. Prior to his April 13 arrest, Teixeira’s superiors twice caught him viewing and taking notes on classified information unrelated to his official duties. This happened twiceonce in September 2022 and once in October 2022with Teixeira’s superiors admonishing him both times. Teixeira was then caught again in February.

Government prosecutors wrote to the court:

that the Defendant continued posting classified information despite keen awareness that he was violating the law and even after being admonished multiple times by superiors is a clear indication that he will be undeterred by any restrictions this Court places upon him and will not hesitate to circumvent those restrictions if he deems it in his interest to do so.

Because of this, prosecutors say that Teixeira cannot “now be trusted to refrain from causing further harm” if he is released ahead of his trial date. Another hearing regarding Teixeira’s release is scheduled for Friday, where both government prosecutors and Teixeira’s defense counsel are expected to make further arguments.

Teixeira is charged with unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information as well as unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material. Teixeira allegedly leaked “dozens of images” of documents, containing confidential information about US national security issues, on Discord. The DOJ did not discover the leaked documents until April 10, however, it is believed that the documents first appeared online in October 2022.