A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guardsman who is accused of leaking highly classified Department of Defense secrets on the social media site Discord.
Teixeira, who holds the rank of Airman First Class and was part of the 102nd Intelligence Wing of the Air National Guard, was arrested by the FBI on April 13 in Dighton, Massachusetts, for allegedly releasing classified information regarding the U.S. military’s assessments of Russia’s war in Ukraine, including maps and assessments of the relative strength of Russian and Ukrainian forces. In Thursday’s indictment, he was charged with six counts of willful retention and dissemination of “national defense information,” which is criminalized under the Espionage Act, and is in addition to charges filed against him in April. per ABC News. (RELATED: Massive Classified Document Leak Raises Questions About How Carefully The US Guards Its Secrets)
Teixeira allegedly shared the documents on the social media platform Discord, which is often used by young men to communicate as they play video games online. After Teixeria posted them on the platform, they began circulating across other platforms and were shared widely on mainstream social media websites such as Twitter.
#PentagonLeak Suspect cuffed
FBI arrested a 21yr old air national guardsman #JackTeixeira in connection to the trove of leaked highly classified Pentagon docs revealing government secrets that exposed weaknesses in Ukrainian military & upended relations with America allies pic.twitter.com/5pLssCwE8h
— Mona Salama (@ByMonaSalama) April 13, 2023
“The unauthorized removal, retention and transmission of classified information jeopardizes our nation’s security,” said Joshua S. Levy, the acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, in a statement reported by ABC News. “We are committed to ensuring that those entrusted with sensitive national security information adhere to the law.”
If convicted, Teixeria faces up to ten years in prison per count on which he has been charged. The Espionage Act, a law passed in 1917 during the First World War, gained public attention recently after former President Donald Trump was charged under its provisions for retaining classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
Documents released during court proceedings show that Teixeria was repeatedly warned by his superiors to stop taking notes on classified information that he was able to access. This continued and Teixeria was allowed to maintain his security clearance in spite of the repeated warnings.
The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.
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