May 23, 2024

Jack Teixeira, the Massachusetts Air National Guardsman who has pleaded guilty to leaking highly classified information online, is facing new charges and potentially a court-martial related to his military duties, the Air Force said Wednesday.

An Air Force spokesperson confirmed to Military.com that the service is weighing additional charges of failure to obey an order and obstruction of justice under the Uniform Code of Military Justice related to Teixeira’s military service.

Teixeira, 22, an airman first class focused on cyber defense, was arrested in early 2023 following long-running leaks on Discord, an online platform used by gamers, that disclosed classified information about the war in Ukraine and U.S. relations with allies.

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He was charged by federal authorities in April 2023 with unauthorized retention, removal and transmission of national defense information and classified documents. He pleaded guilty in March and faces anywhere from 11 years to a little more than 16 years in prison.

“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,” the spokesperson said. “These charges will be sent to an Article 32, UCMJ hearing where a neutral and detached officer will examine whether the evidence is sufficient to refer the charges to trial by courts-martial.”

Teixeira’s Article 32 hearing is scheduled to be held at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts on May 14. He remains an airman first class on active-duty status “pending the outcome of the court-martial,” the Air Force spokesperson added.

An Article 32 hearing is a preliminary hearing similar to a grand jury proceeding for civilians. A charge sheet provided to Military.com alleges Teixeira didn’t “cease and desist from accessing information not pertaining to his duties, an order which it was his duty to obey,” charging him with a violation of Article 92 under the UCMJ.

The second charge alleges that Teixeira did “dispose of an iPad, computer hard drive, and cell phone, with intent to obstruct the due administration of justice in the case of himself,” as well as “direct another individual to delete Discord messages,” referencing a UCMJ violation under Article 131b, according to the charge sheet.

Teixeira had a top-secret security clearance, as well as access to sensitive compartmented information — a more restrictive designation for some of the government’s most closely guarded secrets — since 2021, according to an affidavit from the Justice Department. Federal documents alleged that Teixeira began posting the classified information as paragraphs of text starting in December 2022 on the platform Discord.

By January 2023, federal authorities claim he started posting pictures of the intelligence and secret information, because he was worried he would be discovered making transcripts of the documents at his job. They allege he began taking the documents to his home, where he photographed them.

It had been known that Teixeira could potentially face additional charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, because he had been on federal Title 10 orders, meaning he had been on active-duty status performing military duties as opposed to more sporadic drill weekends in Massachusetts.

Guardsmen, who spend the bulk of their service under different duty statuses working part time, often fall out of military justice jurisdiction. An Air Force statement on Wednesday proved that wasn’t the case.

“As A1C Teixeira was on Title 10 active-duty orders during the charged time frame, he is subject to both criminal prosecution with the Department of Justice and the United States Air Force under the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” the Air Force spokesperson said. “The Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) worked closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and provided evidence to the command that demonstrates A1C Teixeira committed violations of the UCMJ.”

The 102nd Intelligence Wing where Teixeira worked — which is based out of Joint Base Cape Cod in Massachusetts — had its mission paused and divided among other units following his arrest last year. The Air Force announced in December that 15 Air National Guard enlisted troops and officers had been punished and removed from command in connection with the incident, citing a “lack of supervision” that enabled the leaks.

The announcement coincided with the release of an Air Force inspector general report that found members of Teixeira’s unit failed to take proper action after becoming aware of him seeking the intelligence, but it found no evidence that any of his supervisors knew that he was allegedly leaking the information online.

Related: Air National Guardsman Teixeira Pleads Guilty to Leaking Classified Info, Faces Up to 16 Years in Prison

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