Prosecutors want document leaker Teixeira kept behind bars, compare him to Snowden

by Jacob Fuller

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

Federal authorities have made no secret about their desire to have Jack Teixeira, the Massachusetts Air National Guardsman accused of leaking scores of classified documents to an online community, remain in prison through his trial.

Thursday morning, prosecutors ramped up that effort with a 48-page court filing in which they described Texeira as everything from a flight risk to a man capable of carrying out a mass shooting. Later in the day, they made similar arguments during a 90-minute detention hearing.

Magistrate Judge David Hennessy, who presided over the hearing, said he would issue his ruling at a later date. Teixeira remained in detention as of Thursday night.

Attorneys for the defense are pushing for Teixeira to be released on the condition of supervision; but the authors of the draft invoked the terms “Uvalde,” “Buffalo Tops,” and “Las Vegas shooting” as well as the name of Edward Snowden, the Obama-era leaker who now resides in Russia and has never stood trial for his alleged crimes, in their effort to paint Teixeira as worthy of confinement.

“The damage the defendant has already caused to the U.S. national security is immense,” the detention memo reads. “The damage the defendant is still capable of causing is extraordinary.”

Prosecutors presented evidence they say shows Teixeira is prone to violent speech online, acts which they say “compound his risk of flight and dangerousness.”

During Thursday’s hearing, Teixeira’s attorneys argued that the crimes with which he is charged — violating the Espionage Act and unlawfully copying and transmitting sensitive defense material — are nonviolent.

The prosecution countered that Teixeira is a danger to flee the country and also capable of leaking even more information.

Teixeira faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.


Teixeira is not the only person facing serious consequences for the leaks. Thursday, the Air Force announced it had suspended two officers who were in Teixeira’s chain of command at Otis Air Base in Massachusetts.

Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek said the commander of the 102nd Intelligence Wing and an officer who was in charge of support for airmen of the base had been suspended pending further investigation and that both had lost their access to classified information.

“This means that both the squadron’s state Air National Guard operational commander and current federal orders administrative commander have been suspended pending completion of the Department of the Air Force Inspector General Investigation,” Stefanek said. “Also, the Department of Air Force has temporarily removed these individuals’ access to classified systems and information.”