Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to hold Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira in detention, arguing that he could cause “extraordinary” damage by releasing more classified documents.
Lawyers for the Department of Justice (DOJ) wrote in court papers that releasing Teixeira as he awaits trial poses a threat to the national security of the U.S., considering that investigators are still trying to determine whether Teixeira kept any classified documents with him, including ones that have not been made public.
“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. “The damage the Defendant has already caused to the US national security is immense. The damage the Defendant is still capable of causing is extraordinary.”
Prosecutors said Teixeira might still have access to information that could aid foreign adversaries, explaining that he has “accessed and may still have access to a trove of classified information that would be of tremendous value to hostile nation states that could offer him safe harbor and attempt to facilitate his escape from the United States.”
According to the prosecutors, Teixeira’s defense team has hinted that they will ask the judge to release Teixeira to his father’s home, but Teixeira’s lawyers have not filed a motion to do so.
On April 13, 2023, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested Teixeira over leaks of classified military documents. Teixeira was charged under the Espionage Act, which was designed to prevent Americans from interfering in military operations or supporting foreign countries during wartime.
Teixeira is suspected of sharing hundreds of classified Pentagon documents regarding national security and the war in Ukraine on the gaming platform Discord over seven months.
The New York Times reported that a Discord user with a profile matching Teixeira’s allegedly began posting copies of classified files in a chat server dating back to February 2022.
While arguing for Teixeira’s continued detention, prosecutors wrote that the 21-year-old is dangerous to society because he owned several weapons and repeatedly had “detailed and troubling discussions about violence and murder” on Discord.
NEWS: Jack Teixeira, the low-level IT specialist with high-level security clearance who leaked dozens of sensitive documents, wrote on social media that he wanted to kill a "ton of people" and researched mass shootings online.
Prosecutors are currently arguing that he should not… pic.twitter.com/WEkma8Kp4P
— Really American 🇺🇸 (@ReallyAmerican1) April 27, 2023
Prosecutors also revealed that Teixeira was suspended during high school when a classmate heard him talking about Molotov cocktails and other weapons.
Teixeira is 21 years old. He was in high school less than 3 years ago. What exactly did the background investigators do?
“the Defendant was suspended in high school based on concerning comments the Defendant made about Molotov cocktails and other weapons” https://t.co/bOaMtJ9FVS pic.twitter.com/1d7FoKF3Mb
— Pete Strzok (@petestrzok) April 27, 2023
Investigators have yet to reveal a possible motive for the leaks. Discord members who were part of the chat server with Teixeira described him as a “show-off” rather than a political whistleblower.
The leaks surprised the military community and led to worldwide outrage, raising questions about the U.S.’s ability to protect its classified materials.