The Massachusetts Air National Guardsman accused of leaking numerous classified documents was repeatedly warned about his unauthorized handling of sensitive information by his superiors, only to escalate his alleged activity and even brag about his reprimands online prior to his arrest, according to court documents.
Airman 1st Class Jack Teixeira, who was arrested on April 13 and charged with the unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information and the unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material, allegedly used his Top Secret-Secret Compartmented Access security clearance to wander all over the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS), an extensive, Defense Department-wide intelligence database.
According to court documents filed by federal prosecutors on May 17, other members of the 102nd Intelligence Wing, the unit Teixeira was assigned to, repeatedly observed his mishandling of classified information. These instances, though, only resulted in verbal and written warnings to Teixeira from unit leaders.
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In the first 102nd Intelligence Wing memorandum from September 15, 2022, a staff sergeant saw Teixeira taking notes on classified information in the unit’s SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility). The staff sergeant “observed A1C Teixeira put the note in his pocket and at that time asked A1C Teixeira if he planned to shred it.” When Teixeira met with a senior master sergeant and a master sergeant from the unit, he was “instructed to no longer take notes in any form on classified intelligence information.”
In a second memo dated October 27, 2022, one of Teixeira’s superiors was notified that the airman was continuing to ignore the previous order to stop “deep diving into intelligence information” after Teixeira attended a morning intelligence briefing. During that October 25 briefing, Teixeira had “proceeded to ask very specific questions,” which apparently sounded an alarm for one of his superiors
As a result, Teixiera was once again told to focus on his job – his official job, title according to court documents, was “Cyber Defense Operations Journeyman” – and offered cross-training in different intelligence career fields, which Teixeira declined.
A third memo notes that on January 30, 2023, a master sergeant observed Teixeira using a JWICS interface and “viewing content that was not related to his primary duty and was related to the intelligence field.”
At the same time Teixeira was verbally reprimanded at work, however, he was continuing his prolific and unrepentant posting activities on private Discord servers regarding his access to classified information.
“The Defendant’s disclosures (and associated boasting) continued even after being admonished by his superiors on two separate occasions … amid concerning actions that the Defendant took related to classified information,” reads the latest court filing.
In excerpts from those chat logs, Teixeira bragged about his access to classified intelligence, writing on November 19 that “I’m on JWICS weekly,” and that “Knowing what happens pretty much more than anyone else is cool.”
On December 6, 2022, Teixeira wrote “I’m breaking a ton of [unauthorized disclosure] regs … idgaf what they say I can or can’t share … All of the shit I’ve told you guys I’m not supposed to.”
Followings Teixeira’s arrest, the 102nd Intelligence Wing has had its intelligence mission halted and two senior leaders suspended pending an ongoing investigation.
In court, Teixeira’s lawyers have argued for his pretrial release, saying that the airman never “‘intended any information purportedly to the private social media server to be widely disseminated’” and rejecting comparisons from government prosecutors to former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who gained notoriety a decade ago for a massive leak of sensitive information.
“The government’s invocation of the Snowden case is unwarranted because it bears no relationship to the relevant question before this court: whether a set of release conditions will reasonably assure Mr. Teixeira’s presence at trial and compliance with conditions,” his lawyers said.
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