Intel leaks suspect allowed to keep access despite being caught twice
Prosecutors argue that US authorities failed to act despite Teixeira's suspicious behavior on many occasions.
A US airman accused of leaking top-secret materials got many warnings for abusing his access to sensitive information but was still permitted to keep his high-level security clearance, court filings reveal.
Teixeira, an information technology specialist at an Air Force base in Massachusetts, was arrested on April 13 and accused of leaking classified documents on another Discord group consisting of about 50 members, called Thug Shaker Central, in October 2022.
As early as March 2, 2023, over 100 intelligence papers were posted on Discord, a social media platform popular with gamers, and appeared to contain classified information on Ukraine, Russian military activity, China, and the Middle East.
Some of the most sensitive leaked details are purportedly related to Ukraine's military capabilities and shortcomings, as well as information about the US spying on its allies, most notably the Israeli occupation, and South Korea.
Prosecutors arguing for Teixeira's detention awaiting trial produced a slew of papers in support of their case on Wednesday, including copies of three partially redacted US Air Force memos demonstrating Teixeira's suspicious behavior on many occasions.
One dated September 15, 2022, says that Teixeira was "observed taking notes on classified information" and was "instructed to no longer take notes in any form on classified intelligence."
Another from the following month demonstrates that the issue remained, with Teixeira "potentially ignoring the cease-and-desist order on deep diving into intelligence information" issued in September.
He was told to "continue to cease-and-desist on any deep dives into classified intelligence information and focus on his job," the document says.
However, Teixeira was spotted in late January 2023 "viewing content that was not related to his primary duty and was related to the intelligence field," according to a third document.
Teixeira was detained in April after a week-long investigation and charged with two offenses carrying potential jail penalties of ten years and five years.
According to an FBI affidavit, Teixeira still had a top-secret security clearance at the time of his arrest, despite several warnings about mishandling confidential material.
A judge is expected to rule Friday on the prosecutors' motion for Teixeira's continued detention.