Pentagon leaker Jack Teixeira to face military justice proceeding

Massachusetts Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira, who pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges for leaking highly classified military documents about the war in Ukraine and other national security secrets, will face a military justice proceeding later this month

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Massachusetts Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira, who pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges for leaking highly classified military documents about the war in Ukraine and other national security secrets, will face a military justice proceeding later this month, officials said Wednesday.

Teixeira, of North Dighton, Massachusetts, faces two charges in the military justice system, including obstructing justice and failing to obey a lawful order, Air Force officials said. Prosecutors will present evidence during the military proceeding on May 14 at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts. The case could then move to a court-martial, if it’s determined that there’s sufficient evidence of the charges.

The military proceeding comes nearly two months after Teixeira pleaded guilty in federal court to six counts of willful retention and transmission of national defense information under the Espionage Act. That was close to a year after he was arrested in the most consequential national security leak in years.

In court, he admitted illegally collecting some of the nation’s most sensitive secrets and sharing them with other users on Discord, a social media platform popular with people playing online games.

Teixeira, who was part of the 102nd Intelligence Wing at Otis Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts, worked as a cyber transport systems specialist, essentially an information technology specialist responsible for military communications networks.

A spokesperson for Teixeira’s family said they had no comment Wednesday and his attorneys in his criminal case didn’t immediately respond to an email.

The stunning security breach raised alarm over America’s ability to protect its most closely guarded secrets and forced the Biden administration to scramble to try to contain diplomatic and military fallout. The leaks embarrassed the Pentagon, which tightened controls to safeguard classified information and disciplined members found to have intentionally failed to take required action about Teixeira’s suspicious behavior.

Authorities said he first typed out classified documents he accessed and then began sharing photographs of files that bore SECRET and TOP SECRET markings. Prosecutors also said he tried to cover his tracks before his arrest, and authorities found a smashed tablet, laptop and Xbox gaming console in a dumpster at his house.

The leak exposed to the world unvarnished secret assessments of Russia’s war in Ukraine, including information about troop movements in Ukraine and the provision of supplies and equipment to Ukrainian troops. Teixeira also admitted posting information about a U.S. adversary’s plans to harm U.S. forces serving overseas.

__

Associated Press writers Alanna Durkin Richer and Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.