Jack Teixeira had been picked up twice before while handling classified information and told to focus on his own job, prosecutors say, before he allegedly made disclosures about the Ukraine war and other sensitive topics in the Discord chat room.
Thursday 18 May 2023 15:39, UK
The man accused of leaking sensitive Ukraine documents from the Pentagon had been previously warned about taking notes on confidential information, a court filing has revealed.
US government lawyers made the revelation in court papers while asking a judge to keep Jack Teixeira locked up while he awaits trial.
He is accused of sharing highly classified documents on Discord, a chatroom platform that is often used by people who play video games. Teixeira has not entered a plea.
Follow the Ukraine war live – as it emerges some senior Russian officials are ‘sceptical’ about the conflict
The leaks potentially exposed hundreds of pages of intelligence about Russian efforts in Ukraine and spying on US allies.
In the latest court filing, prosecutors told a judge that Teixeira had been previously spoken to by his superiors on two separate occasions last year over “concerning actions” he took.
According to a memo from the Air National Guard 102nd Intelligence Wing in September, Teixeira was caught taking notes on classified information and placing them in his pocket.
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He was told to stop taking any notes on classified information, it adds.
In a separate memo from a month later, a superior was told that Teixeira was “potentially ignoring the cease-and-desist order on deep diving into intelligence information” given to him the month before, and had attended a meeting and asked “very specific questions”.
He was then told again to focus on his own job, and not to “deep dive into classified information”.
Another memo from February said he was seen looking at information “that was not related to his primary duty and was related to the intelligence field”.
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The accused had previously been told to focus on his own career duties and “to not seek out intelligence products”, the memo said.
“The defendant even continued to share information with his online associates, defying these admonishments and taking further efforts to conceal his unlawful conduct,” prosecutors wrote.
Lawyers argue Teixeira should be released
Teixeira’s lawyers have asked judges to release him to his father’s home, arguing in their own filing there have been other cases tried under the Espionage Act where the defendant has been released from prison, adding there is no allegation that he intended for the documents to be distributed widely.
That’s disputed by prosecutors, who in their filing say one of the servers Teixeira posted in had at least 150 users at the time he shared the information, and “now may have many more users that are actively seeking access to information”.
“Among the individuals with whom the defendant shared government information are a number of individuals who represented that they resided in other countries and who logged on to the social media platform using foreign IP addresses,” prosecutors wrote.
They added that in messages, Teixeira had bragged about how much information he had, writing: “The information I give here is less than half of what’s available.”
The judge in the case has not yet made a decision over Teixeira’s detention.
Earlier court records show he had been keeping an arsenal of weapons before his arrest.