Air Force prosecutors seek to charge Pentagon leaker Jack Teixeira with new offenses

Air Force prosecutors requested a military hearing officer to recommend that Jack Teixeira, an Air National Guardsman, face a court-martial for his alleged offenses of disobeying orders and obstructing justice by leaking national defense secrets.

Teixeira, 22, stood before the military court hearing at Hanscom Air Force Base, located approximately 20 miles outside of Boston. In March, he admitted his guilt to federal charges for sharing classified defense documents on the popular social media platform, Discord. Among the leaked documents were sensitive intelligence reports concerning the war in Ukraine, including classified information regarding troop movements.

Teixeira is anticipated to face a sentence of over ten years in prison, with a judge scheduled to deliver the verdict in September.

The hearing officer will now determine the fate of the junior airman. After reviewing the evidence presented by military prosecutors on Tuesday, the officer will provide a recommendation to the convening authority, who in this case is the commander of the Air Force District of Washington. Ultimately, it will be up to the commander to decide whether Teixeira’s case will proceed to a military trial, commonly referred to as a court martial.

Teixeira strode into the courtroom on Tuesday, free from any restraints, proudly donning his military uniform. As the prosecutors presented their evidence, his family members seated in the audience exchanged whispers. Observing her son, Dawn Dufault noticed that his Air Force blues seemed to no longer fit him properly. She attributed this change to the unhealthy food he was being served behind bars. “It’s all the junk they’re feeding him in there,” she lamented.

Read More:  Here's why you might receive an additional Social Security payment this month

The prosecutors chose not to present any witnesses to establish the existence of probable cause behind the “specifications” or counts. Instead, they relied on a collection of exhibits to substantiate their accusations.

Prosecutors presented a series of memos from Teixeira’s superiors, spanning from September 2022 to April 2023, to demonstrate his failure to comply with orders. These memos repeatedly urged him to refrain from accessing information that was unrelated to his assigned duties.

After his arrest, the authorities discovered Teixeira’s electronics, which included an iPad and a hard-drive. These items were found in a dumpster near his location. Photographs of the recovered electronics were then submitted as evidence.

Capt. Stephanie Adams accused Teixeira of intentionally trying to conceal evidence, leading to obstruction of justice.

The prosecutors also presented Discord messages from an account believed to be Teixeira’s. In these messages, Teixeira can be seen asking another user to delete certain messages.

Teixeira’s defense attorneys, led by Lt. Col. Bradley Poronsky, a former offensive lineman for the Texas Longhorns, chose not to present any witnesses or submit any evidence during the trial.

His team made the argument that the latest charges should be dismissed based on the principle of double jeopardy. This principle prevents individuals from being prosecuted twice for the same crime.

According to Maj. Luke Gilhooly, Teixeira’s attorney, the Air Force’s decision to pursue charges against his client is seen as an attempt to seek revenge rather than serving justice. Gilhooly argues that the charges in question have already been settled in federal court, making the Air Force’s actions unnecessary.

Read More:  Republican senators call for impeachment trial of Mayorkas

The defense claimed that, despite the concept of “double jeopardy,” the government did not provide sufficient evidence to prove that Teixeira had any intention of evading orders or obstructing justice.

The hearing officer is not bound by a specific timeline for filing his recommendation, nor is the convening authority required to make a decision within a certain timeframe.

Leave a Comment