Jack Teixeira Pleads Not Guilty to Charges in Leaked Documents Case

The judge rejected a request to reconsider his earlier decision to hold Jack Teixeira without bail indefinitely.

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Jack Teixeira Pleads Not Guilty to Charges in Leaked Documents Case | INFBusiness.com

Jack Teixeira, the Air National Guardsman accused of releasing classified material, in a photo posted on social media.

Jack Teixeira, the 21-year-old Air National Guardsman accused of posting a trove of secret documents to an online chat group, pleaded not guilty to six counts of federal criminal charges on Wednesday, two months after his arrest.

Airman Teixeira, appearing in an orange prison uniform and fresh buzz cut, sat quietly as a federal magistrate judge read him his rights before standing to say, “Not guilty, your honor,” during a 10-minute hearing in Worcester, Mass., attended by his family and dozens of media outlets.

His lawyer asked the judge, David H. Hennessy, to reconsider an earlier decision to hold Airman Teixeira without bail indefinitely. But the judge rejected the request, saying that the circumstances have not changed since the Justice Department successfully argued that the airman’s history of violent threats and leaking made freeing him an unacceptable risk.

His next court date, a conference to discuss the status of the case, was scheduled for early August. The next important legal benchmark will be the selection of a trial judge, who will set a trial timetable — if the two sides do not reach a plea agreement first, as has often happened in recent cases involving the illegal disclosure of government documents.

Last week, a federal grand jury indicted Airman Teixeira, who was given a top security clearance while assigned to an intelligence unit at an Air Force base on Cape Cod, on six counts of retaining and transmitting classified national defense information. If convicted, he could face up to 60 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.

The indictment said Airman Teixeira mishandled documents including a report on the hacking of an unnamed U.S. company’s accounts by “a foreign adversary,” information about the provision and delivery of military equipment to Ukraine and a highly sensitive report on Russian and Ukrainian troop movements that might have compromised “classified sources and methods.”

Other documents included details of a foreign plot to target U.S. troops abroad that described “where and how” an assault might take place, the indictment said.

Some of the materials that Airman Teixeira is accused of posting online bore the most highly restricted classification markings, including “sensitive compartmented information” that could be stored and reviewed only in a protected facility.

The case involves references to numerous classified documents and procedures, which has already led to delays, as both the prosecution and defense teams secure the proper security clearances needed to review evidence, or even to interview Airman Teixeira.

On Wednesday, Michael Bachrach, Airman Teixeira’s New York-based lawyer, said he was getting the necessary clearances for the materials needed for the next court date. The prosecution said it was likely that the situation would be resolved within the next month.

Airman Teixeira’s lawyers have argued in court that their client naïvely believed that the material he shared with fellow users on Discord, a social media platform popular with gamers, would not be further disseminated, even though some of his online friends lived in foreign countries.

He smiled and greeted family members seated together in the corner of the courtroom.

“We remain as committed as ever and our entire family continues to share complete and unwavering support of Jack as he faces this matter,” Jen Reed, a representative of Airman Teixeira and his family, said in an emailed statement. “We realize there is a long road ahead.”

Airman Teixeira’s lawyers did not respond to reporters’ questions as they left the fifth-floor courtroom.

Glenn Thrush covers the Department of Justice. He joined The Times in 2017 after working for Politico, Newsday, Bloomberg News, The New York Daily News, The Birmingham Post-Herald and City Limits. @GlennThrush

A version of this article appears in print on  , Section A, Page 15 of the New York edition with the headline: Airman Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Charges in Leaks Case. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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Source: nytimes.com

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