Pentagon 'leaker' Jack 'The Dripper' Teixeira, 21, pleads NOT GUILTY

Pentagon ‘leaker’ Jack ‘The Dripper’ Teixeira, 21, pleads NOT GUILTY to posting highly classified documents on Discord channel while he was in the Massachusetts National Guard

  • Jack Teixeira appeared in court Wednesday days after being indicted
  • He pleaded not guilty to six counts of retention and transmission of secrets

Jack Teixeira, the Massachusetts Air National Guard member accused of leaking highly classified military documents on a social media platform, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal felony charges.

Teixeira, 21, entered the pleas during a hearing in Worcester’s federal court days after he was indicted by a grand jury on six counts of willful retention and transmission of national defense information. 

Each count is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Handcuffed and wearing orange jail garb, Teixeira smiled at family seated in the gallery at the start of the hearing. 

He stood at the defense table next to his lawyers and leaned over to say ‘not guilty, your honor’ into the microphone after the judge read each count. 

FILE – In this artist depiction, Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, seated second from right, appears in U.S. District Court, in Boston, April 19, 2023. Teixeira, accused of leaking highly classified military documents on a social media platform, is due back in court on June 21, after being indicted on federal felony charges. (Margaret Small via AP)

Jack Teixeira, 21, the suspected Pentagon leaker, has been ordered to remain in jail as he awaits trial on charges he violated the Espionage Act

The judge also denied a defense request to reconsider his detention order. 

Teixeira, of North Dighton, has been behind bars since his April arrest on charges stemming from the most consequential intelligence leak in years. 

A magistrate judge ruled last month that Teixeira must remain in jail while the case plays out, saying that releasing him would pose a risk that he would attempt to flee the country or obstruct justice.

The leak left the Biden administration scrambling to assess and contain the damage and reassure allies that its secrets are safe with the U.S.

Teixeira’s family said in a statement Wednesday that they ‘remain committed as ever’ to supporting him. 

‘The important thing is Jack will now have his day in court,’ they said. ‘We are hopeful that Jack will be getting the fair and just treatment he deserves.’

Teixeira´s attorney has said his client ‘will answer the charges’ and ‘will be judged by his fellow citizens.’ 

In pushing for his release, Teixeira’s attorneys argued that the government is not alleging Teixeira ever intended that the information be widely disseminated.

Jack Michael Teixeira arrives for the detention hearing for his son Teixeira on Friday 

These are two of the leaked documents which have been shared by the New York Times 

Teixeira posted the treasure trove of top secret files under his online user name ‘Jack the Dripper’ for months before the leak was uncovered.

He worked as a junior cyber security specialist in the intelligence unit based at the Otis Air National Guard Base in western Cape Cod.

He posted about guns, games and top secret US government information but some of his fellow chatroom members reported his activities to investigators.

It is alleged that the 21-year-old used his government computer to search classified intelligence reporting for the word ‘leak’ on April 6.

That was the day when the first stories broke about the huge security breach.

Prosecutors claim he searched the term to establish whether US intelligence had information on the identity of the person behind the leaks.

He was identified as the ringleader of a chatroom, known as Thug Shaker Central, on Discord.

Authorities say Teixeira, who enlisted in the Air National Guard in 2019, began around January sharing military secrets with other Discord users – first by typing out classified documents and then sharing photographs of files that bore SECRET and TOP SECRET markings. 

FILE – This artist depiction shows Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, right, appearing in U.S. District Court in Boston, April 14, 2023. Teixeira has been indicted on federal felony charges. The Justice Department says Teixeira faces six counts in the indictment of willful retention and transmission of national defense information. (Margaret Small via AP, File)

Prosecutors say he continued to leak government secrets even after he was warned by superiors about mishandling and improper viewing of classified information.

Justice Department lawyers revealed in earlier court filings that Teixeira had a history of disturbing online remarks. 

He wrote in November that he would ‘kill a (expletive) ton of people’ if he had his way, because it would be ‘culling the weak minded.’ 

He also used his government computer in July to look up mass shootings, searching terms such as ‘Mandalay Bay shooting’ and ‘Uvalde,’ prosecutors said.

Authorities have provided few details about an alleged possible motive, but accounts of those in the online private chat group where the documents were disclosed have depicted Teixeira as motivated more by bravado than ideology.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement last week that Teixeira was entrusted with information ‘that reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to national security if shared.’

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