BOSTON (WPRI) — The Dighton man suspected of leaking highly classified military documents briefly appeared in court Wednesday morning for a preliminary hearing.
Jack Teixeira, 21, was supposed to also be in court for a detention hearing but that was postponed at the request of his lawyer, who wanted more time to prepare.
A judge Wednesday morning was set to decide whether Teixeira should remain behind bars while he awaits trial. Now he will remain in custody pending his next court appearance in approximately two weeks.
It appeared his father was in the courtroom, but the family once again had no comment.
Teixeira is charged with unauthorized transmission of defense materials and unauthorized retention and removal of classified documents.
The Massachusetts Air National Guardsman was arrested last week at his home in Dighton as part of an FBI investigation into the leaks.
Teixeira allegedly shared highly classified military documents about the Ukraine war and other top national security issues in a chat room on Discord, a social media platform for gamers.
On Tuesday, Air Force leaders said they were investigating how a lone airman could gain access and distribute possibly hundreds of highly classified documents. The Air Force has also taken away the intelligence mission from the Air National Guard 102nd Intelligence Wing based in Cape Cod — where Teixeira served — pending further review.
“The President has taken this matter very seriously, to the point where he asked the military and intelligence community to do a couple of things: to run a high-priority, senior-level interagency process focused on understanding what happened; take steps to further secure and limit distribution of sensitive information; and reach out directly to allies and partners to reassure them about our commitment to safeguarding intelligence,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by 12 News, the FBI alleges that starting around December 2022, Teixeira posted classified national defense information on social media, most of which had markings like “TOP SECRET.”
While he initially posted text from the documents, the affidavit says in January 2023 he began posting photographs “that contained what appeared to be classification markings on official U.S. Government documents.”
The FBI said the images, posted on various public websites, could reasonably be expected to cause “exceptionally grave damage” to national security.
The criminal complaint also revealed Teixeira was granted top secret security clearance in 2021.
According to the FBI, in order to receive that, he would’ve had to have signed a non-disclosure agreement that spells out that the unauthorized sharing of protected information could result in criminal charges.
His current job title is cyber defense operations journeyman, which allowed him the top secret security clearance.