Home News Jack Teixeira Expected to Plead Guilty in Leak of Trove of Secrets

Jack Teixeira Expected to Plead Guilty in Leak of Trove of Secrets

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Jack Teixeira Expected to Plead Guilty in Leak of Trove of Secrets

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A Massachusetts Air National Guardsman accused of posting dozens of secret intelligence reports and other sensitive documents on a gaming chat group is expected to plead guilty in federal court on Monday, prosecutors said in a court filing on Thursday.

The airman, Jack Teixeira, intends to withdraw his not-guilty plea in a deal that is likely to entail prison time, but less than the 60-year maximum sentence he faced on charges of improperly handling and publicly disclosing national defense secrets, according to two people briefed on the agreement.

Prosecutors often suggest a range of potential punishments to judges, who have the power to impose the sentences they deem appropriate.

Airman Teixeira, 22, who has been in custody since being arrested at his mother’s house in North Dighton, Mass., in the spring, was responsible for one of the most far-reaching leaks of sensitive information in years.

But prosecutors said they found no evidence of espionage, and concluded he had posted secrets to a chat group on the social media platform Discord to impress people he met online with insider information, particularly details of the war in Ukraine.

The indictment said Airman Teixeira, who worked at an intelligence unit at an air base on Cape Cod, took the material off computers after conducting unauthorized searches of databases, even after a superior warned him to stop.

Among the secrets disclosed was information on the provision and delivery of military equipment to Ukraine and a highly sensitive report on Russian and Ukrainian troop movements. Officials said the revelations about the troop movements might have compromised how American intelligence gathered the information and from whom.

He also shared a report on the hacking of an unnamed American company’s accounts by “a foreign adversary” and details of an unspecified foreign plot to target U.S. troops abroad that described “where and how” an assault might take place, the indictment said.

A New York Times investigation of more than 9,500 of his messages painted a portrait of a young man who was fixated on weapons, mass shootings and shadowy conspiracy theories.

Even as he relished the respectability and access to intelligence he gained through his military service and top secret clearance, he seethed with contempt about the government. He accused the United States of a host of nefarious activities: making biological and chemical weapons in Ukrainian labs, creating the Islamic State, even orchestrating mass shootings.

“The FBI and other 3 letter agencies contact these unhinged mentally ill kids and convince them to do mass shootings,” Airman Teixeira wrote on Discord, sharing a debunked conspiracy theory after a gunman killed three people at a mall in Indiana in summer 2022.

The judge in the case rejected Mr. Teixeira’s request to be released last year after prosecutors presented evidence that he had a history of making violent and racist threats, had access to an arsenal of weapons in arguing for his indefinite detention in April.

The government pointedly questioned Airman Teixeira’s overall state of mind, disclosing that he was suspended from high school in 2018 for alarming comments about the use of Molotov cocktails and other weapons, and that he trawled the internet for information about mass shootings. He engaged in “regular discussions about violence and murder” on Discord, the filing said, and he surrounded his bed at his mother’s house with firearms and tactical gear.

His lawyers downplayed his statements in court, saying he was a hard-working young serviceman with no prior criminal record or history of mental health problems who posed no danger to his community or national security.

The Justice Department has also documented a series of missteps by the airman’s superiors.

Air Force officials caught Airman Teixeira taking notes and conducting deep-dive searches for classified material months before he was charged with leaking a vast trove of government secrets, but did not remove him from his job, according to filings in the case.

Several of his superiors were reassigned after he was arrested.

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