National Security

Air Force Previously Caught Suspected Pentagon Leaker Mishandling Secrets But Didn’t Revoke Security Clearance

(Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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Air Force higher-ups caught Airman Jack Teixeira mishandling military secrets long before he allegedly leaked troves of classified Pentagon documents online, but did not remove his access to sensitive information, a new court filing states.

Teixeira was cautioned in September and October 2022 for taking notes taking while reviewing classified information and conducting extensive searches of classified information, according to The New York Times. Despite warnings from his superiors in the Massachusetts Air National Guard, Teixeira kept his job and his top secret security clearance.

In addition to keeping his job, Teixeira received a certificate for completing training on the “unauthorized disclosure” of classified information.

Prosecutors said in a court filing Wednesday that the training certificates Teixeira earned were evidence he knew he was violating the law when he allegedly leaked scores of classified documents to online friends on the platform Discord. Teixeira also bragged in a 2022 Discord message that he was “breaking a ton” of disclosure regulations and he didn’t care “what they say I can or can’t share.”

News outlets began widespread reporting on the leaked documents last month. Two of Teixeira’s superiors have been suspended while the Air Force conducts an internal investigation.

Prosecutors argued that Teixeira was not trustworthy enough to be released on bail. “The court should have no confidence that the promises he might make in this proceeding would mean any more to him than the many promises the defendant has already broken,” their filing reads.

In a separate filing, Teixeira’s defense team said he posed no risk of leaking further intelligence. His father promised in April to keep watch over him if he is released.

Teixeira’s fate will be determined during a hearing Friday. (RELATED: Massive Classified Document Leak Raises Questions About How Carefully The US Guards Its Secrets)

The documents he allegedly leaked revealed sensitive information about a number of U.S. allies, partners and adversaries. They painted a different picture of the war in Ukraine than the Biden administration’s public statements, and triggered cleanup from the administration with allies who were displeased with allegedly being spied on.