Everyone Apparently Knew About the Accused Pentagon Leaker’s Mishandling of Classified Intelligence
In the midst of his posting spree, Jack Teixeira, the 21-year-old Air National Guardsman accused of sharing classified Pentagon documents in online chatrooms, brazenly acknowledged that he was breaking the law, federal prosecutors alleged in a new court filing. “Idgaf what they say I can or can’t share,” he allegedly told his online comrades. In addition to bragging that what he was sharing—which included files divulging intelligence on the Russian war effort—was not “public information,” Teixeira, prosecutors said, admitted that he was violating unauthorized-disclosure regulations and breaking the nondisclosure agreement he was made to sign before obtaining access to the documents.
These latest developments come as part of the federal government’s efforts to keep Teixeira detained until trial. On Wednesday, prosecutors told the US District Court in Massachusetts—the judicial body overseeing the case—that Teixeira had leaked information to people in other countries, arguing that, if he were released before trial, US adversaries would “salivate” at the prospect of helping him escape.
“That the Defendant continued posting classified information despite keen awareness that he was violating the law…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,” prosecutors wrote. (In urging for a pretrial release, Teixeira’s attorneys have said that their client never sought to “disrupt the geopolitical affairs of the United States” and that he “peacefully submitted to arrest.”)
Initial reports on the affair suggested that Teixeira had shared the documents in a small, tight-knit chat room he hosted on Discord—a social media platform popular among gamers and young people—and then other members of the group had spread the files more broadly. His defense lawyers have claimed that their client never meant for the broader public to access the information. However, in the Wednesday filing, prosecutors alleged that Teixeira shared the material on “multiple” Discord servers, including a much larger one and ones with foreign members. “Among the individuals with whom the Defendant shared government information are a number of individuals who represented that they resided in other countries and who logged on to the social media platform using foreign IP addresses,” prosecutors added. Moreover, the court filing recounted two instances, in September and October of last year, in which Teixeira was confronted by his superiors for taking “concerning actions” in relation to sensitive material, including recording notes and conducting “deep” searches for classified information. “In particular, the Defendant’s disclosures (and associated boasting) continued even after being admonished,” prosecutors wrote.
Prosecutors also made note of a video that shows the defendant spouting a racial slur and an antisemitic remark before emptying a rifle at a gun range. The clip was first published by The Washington Post last weekend.
Teixeira faces a potential prison sentence of 25 years. He has been charged with unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents. His arrest came shortly after a trove of sensitive Defense Department files began spreading online and were traced back to Teixeira’s Discord server.