(NationRise.com) – The Massachusetts Air National Guard member accused of leaking classified Pentagon documents online pleaded not guilty on June 21 to the six charges he’s facing. The charges brought against 21-year-old Jack Teixeira are all related to deliberately withholding and sharing classified national defense data, which violates the Espionage Act.
Since his arrest in April, Teixeira has remained in prison and has been denied release as a magistrate judge thought he represented a flight risk. On June 20, another judge rejected Teixeira’s attorney’s request for the custody order to be reviewed. According to the lawyer, his client will “answer the charges” and be judged by “fellow citizens.”
As reported by different media outlets, the leak created an internal crisis for the United States and other countries around the world. The classified documents revealed information about Washington’s relationship with allies like South Korea and international foes like Iran. It also unveiled sensitive data about the Ukraine-Russia war, including Kyiv’s weak defensive capabilities.
Reports revealed that the Massachusetts Air National Guard leaked the classified Pentagon documents on the social media platform Discord. Apparently, Teixeira shared this top-secret material with a video game community named “Thug Shaker Central” in January. He allegedly did this as a way to brag about his hacking capabilities and the access he had to top-secret material.
While some media outlets said Teixeira shared these documents for a few days, prosecutors alleged he kept doing it after his superiors warned him against mishandling this sensitive data. He could be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. The Massachusetts Air National Guard could additionally be subject to a fine of $250,000 for every charge.
Teixeira was officially indicted on June 15 by a Boston federal grand jury. His family said in a statement they will always support him no matter what.
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