Guilty plea expected from Airman accused in document leak

Guilty plea expected from Airman accused in document leak

By Hannah Rabinowitz | CNN

Jack Teixeira, the Air National Guardsman accused of posting a trove of classified documents online, is expected to plead guilty to federal charges on Monday, according to a source familiar with the matter.

In a court filing Thursday, prosecutors in Boston asked for a so-called Rule 11 hearing – proceedings to discuss a change of plea. He previously pleaded not guilty.

Teixeira, a Massachusetts native who was 21 when he was arrested, is charged with six counts of willful retention and transmission of classified information related to national defense. It is not yet clear what charge he plans to plead guilty to, nor what any potential deal he struck with prosecutors looks like.

Teixeira has been held in federal custody since his arrest in April.

CNN has reached out to the Justice Department for comment.

Teixeira faces spending decades in prison if convicted. Typically, any deal struck between criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors would include a lower range of potential prison time, though any eventual sentence is up to a judge.

According to prosecutors, Teixeira, a junior enlisted airman who worked within the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 102nd Intelligence Wing, was repeatedly warned by his superiors over inappropriately accessing classified intelligence.

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Still, prosecutors allege, Teixeira began posting information about the documents online around December 2022, and photos of documents in January 2023. Teixeira allegedly posted the documents to a small group on Discord, a social media platform popular with gamers.

The documents, some of which have been reviewed by CNN, included a wide range of highly classified information, including eavesdropping on key allies and adversaries and blunt assessments on the state of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Once the document leak was discovered, law enforcement embarked on a sprawling and fast-moving search for the leaker’s identity.

Prosecutors allege that after the leak was publicized, Teixeira destroyed his electronics and obtained a new phone number and email address. He was taken into custody at his home in Massachusetts about a week later, CNN reported.