The Massachusetts Air National Guardsman accused of leaking highly classified military documents has been indicted on federal felony charges, the Justice Department said Thursday.
Jack Teixeira faces six counts in the indictment of willful retention and transmission of national defense information.
He was arrested in April on charges of sharing highly classified military documents about Russia’s war in Ukraine and other top national security issues in a chat room on Discord, a social media platform that started as a hangout for gamers. The stunning breach exposed to the world unvarnished secret assessments of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the capabilities and geopolitical interests of other nations and other national security issues.
“As laid out in the indictment, Jack Teixeira was entrusted by the United States government with access to classified national defense information — including information that reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to national security if shared,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement announcing the indictment.
Each count in the indictment is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
A judge last month ordered him to remain jailed as he awaits trial, saying that releasing Teixeira would pose a risk that he would attempt to flee the country or obstruct justice.
His family has expressed support for him, and his lawyers had pressed the judge to release him to his father, saying he has no criminal history.