Jack Teixeira Agrees to 16-Year Plea Deal in Document Leaks Case

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A Massachusetts Air National Guardsman accused of posting secret intelligence reports and sensitive documents online agreed to plead guilty on Monday in exchange for a 16-year sentence and a commitment to comprehensively brief officials on the extent of his leaks.

The airman, Jack Teixeira, withdrew his not-guilty plea during an appearance in Boston federal court and pleaded guilty to six counts of “willful retention and transmission of national defense information,” according to court documents filed by the government.

The judge in the case, Indira Talwani, scheduled a hearing in September to determine whether she would sign off on the deal. It would be highly unusual for a judge to make major alterations to a deal that required approval from top American intelligence and law enforcement officials.

The Justice Department agreed not to charge him with violations of the Espionage Act, which, when combined with the other charges, could have resulted in a sentence of up to 60 years in prison had he been convicted.

Airman Teixeira, 22, has been in custody since being arrested at his mother’s house in North Dighton, Mass., last spring. He was responsible for one of the most far-reaching leaks of sensitive information in years — a huge embarrassment that revealed how even a low-level service member could retrieve and disclose defense secrets for months without being stopped.

Prosecutors said they found no evidence of espionage, and concluded that Airman Teixeira had posted secrets to a chat group on the social media platform Discord to impress people he met online with insider information, particularly details of the war in Ukraine.

The indictment said Airman Teixeira, who worked at an intelligence unit at an air base on Cape Cod, took the material off computers after conducting unauthorized searches of databases, even after a superior warned him to stop.

Among the secrets disclosed was information on the provision and delivery of military equipment to Ukraine and a highly sensitive report on Russian and Ukrainian troop movements. Officials said the revelations about the troop movements might have compromised how American intelligence gathered the information and from whom.

He also shared a report on the hacking of an unnamed American company’s accounts by “a foreign adversary” and details of an unspecified foreign plot to target U.S. troops abroad that described “where and how” an assault might take place, the indictment said.

A New York Times investigation of more than 9,500 of his messages painted a portrait of a young man who was fixated on weapons, mass shootings and shadowy conspiracy theories.

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