Accused Leaker Jack Teixeira Faces Second Detention Hearing Thursday

Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira.
Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, seated second from right, appears in U.S. District Court, in Boston, Wednesday, April 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Margaret Small)

The former Massachusetts National Guardsman accused of posting top-secret military documents on the internet will get another day in court before a federal magistrate decides whether his pre-trial release poses a threat.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy will reopen a detention hearing for Jack Teixeira at 2 p.m. Thursday in the federal courthouse in Worcester.

It will be Teixeira's second appearance before Hennessy, as the judge prepares to decide whether to order that he continue to be held since arrest, as prosecutors want.

Hennessy took 90 minutes of arguments from the government and Teixeira's court-appointed lawyers on April 27.

Teixeira was arrested and charged in April under the Espionage Act and faces up to 25 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors say Teixeira, 21, a low-level IT employee who had been stationed at the Otis Air National Guard base, had high-level access to classified documents.

Teixeira enlisted in the U.S. Air National Guard in 2019, officials have said. Since May 2022, he held the rank of an E-3/Airman, with the title of Cyber Defense Operations Journeyman.

A government memo says that starting around February 2022, Teixeira began to "access hundreds of classified documents containing national defense information that had no bearing on his role as essentially an information technology ("IT") support specialist."

Documents he obtained were posted on the social media site Discord, including sensitive materials related to the war in Ukraine.

Teixeira's lawyers contend it was another social media user who disseminated the military secrets. They say Texiera shared the material with a "small, private" group.

In making a case that Teixeira be held, prosecutors presented the court with evidence of the defendant's long history of making threats in social media posts.

Teixeira said this in a social media post, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Nadine Pellegrini: "If I had my way I'd kill a f---ing ton of people."

But his attorneys countered that their client has a family history of military service and could be released on conditions that include a curfew and electronic monitoring.

The government, however, said evidence against Teixeira "is substantial and mounting ... the charged conduct would very obviously end his military career. ... He accessed and may still have access to a trove of classified information that would be of tremendous value to hostile nation states that could offer him safe harbor and attempt to facilitate his escape from the United States."


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