The Air National Guardsman accused of leaking top secret Pentagon documents online was warned multiple times by superiors about his mishandling of classified information before he was arrested in April, according to new documents filed in court.
Federal prosecutors used the reprimands to argue in the Wednesday court filing that Jack Teixeira, the 21-year-old Guardsman, should remain in custody. They cited two incidents in September and October when Air Force superiors notified Teixeira about mishandling materials, but prosecutors claim he continued to post the documents online and brag about it after the reprimands.
"That the defendant continued posting classified information despite keen awareness that he was violating the law and even after being admonished multiple times by superiors is a clear indication that he will be undeterred by any restrictions this court places upon him and will not hesitate to circumvent those restrictions if he deems it in his interest to do so," prosecutors wrote in the filing.
Three Air Force memorandums addressed to Teixeira, an airman 1st class with the 102nd Intelligence Wing at Otis Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts, were included in the court filings.
Teixeira joined the service in 2019, and his duty title was cyber transport systems journeyman, meaning he worked on global military communications systems, according to the Air Force.
The first memo cited by prosecutors, dated Sept. 15, detailed that a staff sergeant observed him taking notes on classified information and "observed A1C Teixeira put the note into his pocket."
Teixeira was told to "no longer take notes in any form on classified intelligence information."
The following month, as detailed in an Oct. 27 memo, a superior was notified that Teixeira was "potentially ignoring the cease-and-desist order on deep diving into intelligence" despite receiving the reprimand the previous month. During a meeting a week prior to the memo, superiors raised alarm at the very specific questions he was asking in an intelligence meeting.
Teixeira was again told to follow the cease-and-desist order and to "focus on his job." He was also offered a chance to train into a different intelligence career field but declined, according to the court filing.
Another memo dated Feb. 4 detailed an occasion in January when a superior noticed Teixeira looking at intelligence information not related to his primary duties.
The Air Force declined to comment on the latest court filings when asked by Military.com.
On April 13, Teixeira was taken into custody. He was hit with federal charges and accused of unauthorized retention, removal and transmission of national defense information and classified documents.
The airman reportedly shared classified documents with a group of teenage acquaintances on Discord, a chat site popular with gamers.
He not only had a top-secret security clearance but also sensitive compartmented access, a more restrictive designation for some of the government's most closely guarded secrets, since 2021, according to an affidavit from the Justice Department.
Teixeira's leaks included photos of numerous classified defense documents pertaining to operations in the Ukraine war, as well as U.S. surveillance efforts around the world, federal officials claim.
Wednesday's filing also detailed Discord chats in which he admitted to fellow group members that "none of this is public information" and "all of the sh-- I've told you guys I'm not supposed to," according to messages shared by the FBI.
As federal investigators closed in on Teixeira, he called members of the online Discord chat group to tell them he never expected this situation to happen, according to The New York Times. He reportedly claimed the documents were not meant to be widely distributed but shared only with a close-knit group of friends in the private chat.
"Guys, it's been good -- I love you all," Teixeira said, one listener recounted to the newspaper. "I never wanted it to get like this. I prayed to God that this would never happen. And I prayed and prayed and prayed. Only God can decide what happens from now on."
Teixeira's Air Force unit is also being investigated. In April, shortly following his arrest, the 102nd Intelligence Wing's mission was "paused and divided among other units," Military.com reported.
Airmen with the wing will "continue to train and complete other administrative tasks and duties that are not specifically related to their primary mission," an Air Force official told Military.com at the time.
A detention hearing for the 21-year-old is set for Friday in Massachusetts.
-- Thomas Novelly can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.