National News

Pentagon leak suspect Jack Teixeira agrees to accept 16-year prison sentence

todayMarch 4, 2024


Stefani Reynolds/ Getty Images

(BOSTON) — Former Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira agreed Monday that he caused one of the most extraordinary leaks of national defense secrets in years and agreed to accept a prison sentence of 16 years.

According to the signed plea agreement filed with the court, Teixeira, 22, agreed to plead guilty to all six counts charging him with willful retention and transmission of national defense information. In exchange, prosecutors agreed not to charge him with additional counts under the Espionage Act.

Teixeira is accused of leaking a trove of classified military documents and posting them online.

As part of his plea agreement, Teixeira must sit for a debrief with the Defense Department and the Justice Department and give back any sensitive materials that might remain in his possession.

Federal prosecutors in Boston had last week filed a motion for a Rule 11 hearing, which signaled Teixeira would plead guilty and the judge would determine whether the plea is truly voluntary.

Teixeira, who was 21 years old when he was arrested, pleaded not guilty in June 2023 to six counts of willful retention and transmission of national defense information.

Teixeira is accused of abusing his security clearance and posting classified documents on social media sites, such as Discord, according to the Department of Justice. Teixeira allegedly revealed the kinds of military equipment the United States was prepared to give to Ukraine, “how the equipment would be transferred, and how the equipment would be used upon receipt,” according to the indictment.

Teixeira enlisted in the Air National Guard in 2019, according to his service record, and had top secret security clearance since 2021, according to the Department of Justice.

He allegedly began posting classified documents online in January 2022, according to the Justice Department.

In December, 15 airmen were disciplined — including with removal of their command — for failing to take proper action when they became aware of Teixeira’s intelligence-seeking activities, according to a broad Air Force investigation.

The internal investigation placed blame on Teixeira for the unauthorized disclosure of classified information, but it found that members of his unit failed to take necessary steps such as adequately inspecting areas under their command and giving inconsistent guidance for reporting security incidents.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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