Air National Guardsman accused of posting classified documents online expected to plead guilty

Air National Guardsman accused of posting classified documents online expected to plead guilty

Jack Teixeira, the Air National Guardsman who stands accused of disseminating a collection of classified documents online, is anticipated to enter a guilty plea to federal charges on Monday, as per a source familiar with the case.

In a recent court filing, prosecutors in Boston requested a Rule 11 hearing—a procedural step to address a potential change in plea. Teixeira, who had previously pleaded not guilty, is now slated for this hearing at 11 a.m. on Monday.

Teixeira, a native of Massachusetts who was 21 years old at the time of his arrest, faces six counts of willful retention and transmission of classified information concerning national defense. The specific charge to which he intends to plead guilty, as well as any agreements reached with prosecutors, remain undisclosed.

Since his arrest in April, Teixeira has remained in federal custody, awaiting trial. If convicted, he could potentially face decades behind bars. Typically, plea deals involve negotiation between defense attorneys and prosecutors to secure a reduced prison sentence, although the final decision rests with the judge.

According to prosecutors, despite repeated warnings from his superiors regarding unauthorized access to classified intelligence, Teixeira proceeded to share information from these documents online starting in December 2022, with photos surfacing in January 2023. Allegedly, Teixeira posted these documents on a restricted Discord group, a social platform commonly used by gamers.

The leaked documents, some of which have been examined, contained highly sensitive information, including surveillance activities on both allies and adversaries, as well as candid assessments of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Following the discovery of the document leak, law enforcement swiftly launched an extensive investigation to identify the perpetrator. Prosecutors claim that Teixeira attempted to cover his tracks by disposing of his electronic devices and changing his phone number and email address. He was apprehended at his Massachusetts residence approximately a week after the leak was made public.