FBI accuses indicted Air National Guardsman of sharing classified information with someone living in a foreign country
Recently filed court documents allege that Jack Teixeira, the Air National Guardsman accused of leaking classified intelligence online, knowingly shared classified information with at least one person appearing to reside in a foreign country.
According to a sworn statement by an FBI agent who investigated Teixeira, the 21-year-old shared government information in at least three Discord servers, one of which had some foreign nationals among its 150 members. Those users had foreign IP addresses, the statement by Special Agent Luke Church said.
In February 2020, Teixeira, who has pleaded not guilty, asked another user to confirm that they lived in a foreign city, the exact name of which was redacted from the document filed last week.
“You live near [foreign city] yeah?” Teixeira asked, according to the statement.
“[Y]eah,” the other user responded. “[V]illage next to it.”
Teixeira then responded, “Good,” and said there would be a “wave of [N-words] from [city in Ukraine] soon.” He later sent information that the filing identified as “presumptively classified.”
“That’s what I was told and I did more digging and that’s what more and more people are saying,” Teixeira said.
Church writes that Teixeira knew the individual was “believed to reside in a foreign country,” which would raise warning signs for prosecutors who are worried that he shared classified information with foreign nationals. If he is found to have done so, it could open him up to more serious charges.
Teixeira’s defense lawyers declined to comment on the recent filing.
Teixeira, a junior enlisted airman with the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 102nd Intelligence Wing, was charged in June with six counts of willful retention and transmission of classified information related to national defense. He was arrested in April under the Espionage Act after he allegedly shared classified intelligence, including photos of classified documents, online.
CNN has previously reported that Teixeira was repeatedly warned by superiors at Otis Air Force Base about accessing and taking notes on classified intelligence unrelated to his job as a cyber systems journeyman.
His defense lawyers have said that he did not expect the information he shared online to spread around the internet. Prosecutors, however, have argued that Teixeira’s actions appear “to be a deliberate effort to disseminate this country’s secrets.”
It’s unclear where the second user in the exchange was residing at the time. While Teixeira’s lawyers have argued that he should be allowed out of confinement ahead of his court hearing, prosecutors have said Teixeira would be an “attractive candidate” for a foreign government to recruit.
“The same adversaries have every incentive to contact the defendant,” prosecutors have argued, “to seek additional information he may have physical access to or knowledge of, and to provide him with the means to help him flee the country in return for that information.”
Prosecutors have also raised concerns Teixeira’s alleged history of “regularly” making comments “about violence and murder.”