U.S.

Judge postpones custody hearing for alleged Pentagon leaker

Prosecutors also say they found evidence Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira researched mass shootings online and posted about it on social media.

Judge postpones custody hearing for alleged Pentagon leaker
WCVB-TV via AP
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The Massachusetts Air National Guardsman accused of leaking highly classified Pentagon documents is due in court for a detention hearing Thursday.

Federal prosecutors are making it clear that Jack Teixeira poses a serious flight risk and should remain in custody while he awaits trial.

In a court filing late Wednesday night, prosecutors said letting him go could threaten national security and that a "foreign adversary" could try to help him escape the country.

The prosecutors say in part that Teixeira "accessed and may still have access" to classified information that "would be of tremendous value to hostile nation states." 

"There simply is no condition or combination of conditions that can ensure the Defendant will not further disclose additional information still in his knowledge or possession," prosecutors wrote in the court filing. "The damage the Defendant has already caused to the U.S. national security is immense. The damage the Defendant is still capable of causing is extraordinary."

The 21-year-old was arrested earlier this month after a massive trove of military records were discovered on the messaging social platform Discord. The documents contained details about the war in Ukraine and America’s efforts to spy on both enemies and allies.

Pres. Biden orders 'limitations' on classified material after leak
Pres. Biden orders 'limitations' on classified material after leak

Pres. Biden orders 'limitations' on classified material after leak

The president directed the military and intelligence community to "take steps to further secure and limit" distribution of classified information.

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The court filing from prosecutors also included pictures of Teixeira’s room at his mother's home taken shortly after his arrest.

The photos appear to show weapons and shooting targets. 

In the filing, prosecutors say they found handguns, rifles, shotguns, AK-style weapons and a bazooka. 

Furthermore, authorities say Teixeira tried to destroy evidence when he realized he was about to be arrested, threw his phone out the window and smashed his Xbox. 

Prosecutors also say Teixeira had a history of making violent and racist comments, and found evidence he researched mass shootings online, and even posted about it on social media.

Meanwhile, two commanders from Teixeira’s Air National Guard unit were suspended, and two officers have lost access to classified documents.

The Air Force said the decision was made while it investigates the nature and scope of the leaks and said more members could be suspended or removed from their posts.

Teixeira has not entered a plea for the two federal charges he faces. If convicted on both, he could be going to prison for 25 years or longer.

The detention hearing, which was initially planned for last week but was postponed, is set to take place in Worcester, Massachusetts.