A federal magistrate judge postponed a hearing Wednesday for the Air National Guardsman accused of leaking dozens of classified Pentagon documents online.
Jack Teixeira was set to appear at a court hearing Wednesday about whether he should remain behind bars, but U.S. District Magistrate Judge David Hennessy ordered a delay of about two weeks to allow Teixeira’s lawyers more time to respond to the government’s request to keep him detained.
However, Teixeira will still make a brief appearance before the judge on Wednesday where he’ll affirm that he’s willing to stay in jail until that postponed detention hearing.
The 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts National Air Guard was charged Friday with unauthorized detention and transmission of national defense information, as well as unauthorized removal of classified information and defense materials. The charges were brought under the Espionage Act. He did not enter a plea at the time.
Hennessy will decide at the upcoming hearing whether Teixeira should stay locked up while his legal case plays out.
In an interview with The Washington Post last week, the alleged leaker’s online friend said he’d shared documents among an invite-only Discord chat group that consisted of about two dozen people, mostly men and boys.
The friend said that while using language that was filled with acronyms and jargon, the leaker claimed to have brought the documents home from his job at a “military base,” and that he had worked for hours to write up the classified documents to share with those in the Discord group to keep them “in the loop.”
According to the charging documents, Teixeira allegedly began posting classified information to his online chat group in December 2022 and began uploading photos of the classified documents in January 2023.
The Pentagon is now assessing “the scope and impact” of the leaked documents, which reveal U.S. spying not just on its adversaries but also on allies. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has directed a 45-day review of classified intelligence handling across the Department of Defense.
Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said in Congressional testimony on Tuesday he has directed all members of the service to reassess security procedures over the next 30 days and validate each person’s “need to know.”
He directed the Air Force’s inspector general to investigate Airman Teixeira’s unit, the 102nd Intelligence Wing. The unit’s mission has been temporarily reassigned to other parts of the Air Force.
National Security Spokesperson John Kirby, meanwhile, has backed up early reporting that some of the leaked documents appear to have been doctored or contain false information.
Federal public defenders representing Teixeira did not respond to reporters’ requests for comment Tuesday.