Mass. airman accused in leak case was previously caught accessing classified documents, feds say
The Massachusetts Air National Guard member accused of leaking classified government documents he accessed at his military intelligence job had previously been "admonished" by his superiors for taking notes on top secret information, federal prosecutors disclosed in a new court filing.
Jack Teixeira was arrested in April and is facing multiple charges under the Espionage Act. Prosecutors allege he shared notes and images of government secrets related to the war in Ukraine and U.S. spycraft on the social media platform Discord.
A court filing Wednesday disclosed new information about what Teixeira's superiors in the 102nd Intelligence Wing at the Otis Air National Guard Base on Cape Cod knew about his accessing classified information months before his arrest.
Prosecutors say that twice last year, in September and October, Teixeira was caught taking notes in a secure facility and was told to "cease-and-desist any deep dives into classified intelligence information."
Then, in January, a superior saw Teixeira viewing intelligence he didn't need for his job.
The filing doesn't say whether Teixeira was disciplined or restricted from accessing more information.
After Teixeira's arrest, the Air Force suspended two unnamed commanders in Teixeira's Air National Guard unit. It's unclear if those commanders had been notified about Teixeira's previous alleged behavior.
The Air Force is also conducting a broader investigation of the Teixeira's unit. The 102nd Intelligence Wing has been stripped, for now, of its intelligence mission.
A spokesperson for the Air Force said they could not comment due to the ongoing investigation.
Prosecutors want Teixeira to be held without bail as he awaits trial. They say he is a flight risk and could share more classified information with a foreign adversary.
Defense attorneys argue Teixeira should be released to the custody of his father, with the condition that he not access the internet or any weapons. In a recent court filing, they pointed to nine other Espionage Act cases in recent years when defendants were released on bond pending trial.
Another detention hearing is scheduled for Friday in Worcester. A judge is expected to make a decision then on whether Teixeira will be released.
Teixeira has not yet been indicted or entered a plea. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.