Leaker of Military Secrets Could Face Court-Martial

And if convicted, Jack Teixeira could face several more years in prison
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2024 2:30 AM CDT
Leaker of Military Secrets Could Face Court-Martial
This artist depiction shows Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, right, appearing in US District Court in Boston, April 14, 2023.   (Margaret Small via AP, File)

Jack Teixeira could face more than just a recommended 16 years in prison in connection with one of the biggest intelligence leaks in years. The Massachusetts Air National Guard member—who was convicted of leaking classified documents that ranged from assessments of Russia's war in Ukraine to capability reports for other countries—will face military criminal proceedings beginning May 14 at Massachusetts' Hanscom Air Force Base, the Air Force said Wednesday. It alleges violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, per the Washington Post. Teixeira, who was on active duty at Otis Air National Guard Base when he stole the documents, is to be charged with obstructing justice and failing to obey a lawful order.

The 22-year-old already faces a recommended 11 to 16 years in prison at sentencing in September after pleading guilty to six federal charges in March. According to the Air Force Times, he could face an additional 5.5 years' imprisonment if convicted by a military judge or jury following a court-martial trial (the Post reports only up to one year). An officer will first review whether there is evidence to launch a court-martial.

The new charges relate to Teixeira's alleged disregard for orders "to cease and desist from accessing information not pertaining to his duties" and efforts to conceal his breaches, allegedly including destroying devices and hard drives and instructing a person to delete his messages on Discord, the chat app through which he shared the stolen material, reports ABC News.

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"Following close coordination with the Department of Justice, the Air Force determined that separate and distinct charges should be preferred against A1C Jack Teixeira, for alleged misconduct related to his military duties," says an Air Force rep. As well as additional prison time, Teixeira faces potential punishments including forfeiture of pay, a bad-conduct discharge, and a demotion in rank from airman first class. Held in custody, Teixeira remains a member of the Air National Guard, though he is currently unpaid. (More Jack Teixeira stories.)

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