Prosecutors reveal new details about alleged Pentagon leaker
▶ Watch Video: Airman accused of leaking Pentagon documents requests pre-trial release on bail
Washington — Jack Teixeira, the 21-year-old airman accused of leaking classified Pentagon records, shared sensitive information with people in foreign countries and repeatedly told his online associates that he was violating military rules he had signed, federal prosecutors argued in a new court filing.
Prosecutors urged the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts to keep Teixeira detained until trial, saying foreign adversaries would “salivate” at the prospect of helping him evade the U.S. government. Teixeira’s lawyers submitted their own filing asking the court to release him.
Teixeira was arrested and charged last month with unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information, and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents. He was taken into custody days after hundreds of classified U.S. documents began circulating online, exposing U.S. secrets about the war in Ukraine, China, Taiwan and more.
Prosecutors said in their new memo that Teixeira, contrary to the defense’s claims, did not just share sensitive government information with a very small group of people, but “directly posted classified information to multiple servers on the social media platform over the course of many months,” including on one server with at least 150 active users at the time.
“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 said.
The filing included an online exchange Teixeira allegedly had on Jan. 4, 2023, in which he noted all the various countries and regions about which he could access government information.
Teixeira: theres gonna be a f*** ton of information here …
Teixeira: it may be irrelevant, but its not just ukraine i cover
Teixeira: i have stuff for israel, palestine, syria, iran, chinaTeixeira: SE asia, sometimes western europe
Teixeira: DPRK, ROK
Teixeira: i don’t usually cover south america that much anymore
Teixeira: before the war i was assigned to middle eastern intelligence gathering tasks
“In the same chat, the defendant made clear his understanding of the unlawfulness of his disclosures, adding that ‘none of this is public information,'” prosecutors wrote. “The defendant had previously acknowledged on the social media platform that the information to which he had access required him to sign a non-disclosure agreement.”
The government said Teixeira was admonished by his military supervisors on two separate occasions, in September and October of 2022, for taking notes or viewing material he wasn’t supposed to see.
Prosecutors mentioned a video published by The Washington Post depicting Teixeira using racial and ethnic slurs while firing at a target, alleging that Teixeira’s true character was not what he portrayed to the government when he was hired.
In December 2022, Teixeira allegedly acknowledged to his online associates that he was “breaking a ton of [unauthorized disclosure] regs,” but said, “Idgaf what they say I can or can’t share.” Prosecutors included a copy of a document showing Teixeira completed training about unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
“That the defendant continued posting classified information despite keep 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,” prosecutors said.
“His own posts make clear that he simply did not care what his government or his superiors told him he could or could not share, and the government submits that he would not give any more weight to whatever conditions the court imposes,” the government continued. “Moreover, his efforts to circumvent and conceal his illegal activities while on base in a classified facility is at odds with any notion that he would not find ways to circumvent restrictions imposed on him at his home — perhaps aided by one of the many foreign adversaries and threat actors who would no doubt salivate at the prospect of assisting him in evading the jurisdiction of the United States.”
In arguing for Teixeira’s release, his attorneys pointed out that he “remained at his mother’s home and peacefully submitted to arrest upon the arrival of law enforcement,” and suggested Teixeira isn’t like other people charged under the Espionage Act.
Prosecutors said Teixeira faces significant prison time if convicted.