Federal prosecutors asked a judge Wednesday to continue the detention of the Air National Guardsman accused of posting a trove of classified documents to social media, saying that he posed a flight risk and that the government was still grappling with the amount of stolen classified information.
In a court filing Wednesday evening, prosecutors said that the information Jack Teixeira allegedly took “far exceeds” what has been reported, and that releasing him from jail could pose a grave threat to national security.
Teixeira, prosecutors alleged, viewed hundreds of classified documents – which the government said he may still have access to – and conducted hundreds more keyword searches “in what appears to be a deliberate effort to disseminate this country’s secrets.”
“The Defendant knows where the information is,” prosecutors wrote. “He knows how to access it. And based on his specialized IT skills, he presumably knows how to disseminate that information without being immediately noticed.”
They continued: “Put simply, there is nothing a court can do to ensure the Defendant’s compliance with his conditions of release other than take the Defendant at his word. And the Defendant’s history of honoring similar types of agreements is abysmal.”
The filing is the most detailed look yet into what government prosecutors have uncovered about the 21-year-old’s alleged efforts to steal and disseminate classified information. Teixeira is slated to stand before a magistrate judge in Massachusetts on Thursday, who will decide whether he will have to stay behind bars while he awaits trial.
He has not yet entered a formal plea.
The filings also come with new allegations about Teixeira’s conduct once the leak was publicized, including allegedly destroying his electronics and acquiring a new phone number and email address.
“Not only does the Defendant stand charged with having betrayed his oath and his country but—when those actions began to surface—he appears to have taken a series of obstructive steps intended to thwart the government’s ability to ascertain the full scope of what he has obtained and the universe of unauthorized users with whom he shared these materials,” prosecutors wrote.
Those steps, prosecutors say, included telling others on social media to “delete all messages” and that “[i]f anyone comes looking, don’t tell them shit.”
In addition, prosecutors say that when law enforcement searched Teixeira’s house following his arrest, authorities found “a tablet, a laptop, and an Xbox gaming console, all of which had been smashed” in a dumpster at the home. Prosecutors argued that this showed Teixeira’s willingness to destroy evidence.
In seeking to continue detaining him, prosecutors argued that Teixeira is an “attractive candidate” for a foreign government to recruit in an effort to procure classified information.
“The same adversaries have every incentive to contact the defendant, to seek additional information he may have physical access to or knowledge of, and to provide him with the means to help him flee the country in return for that information.”
Prosecutors also flagged concerns about Teixeira’s alleged history of violent threats, saying that he “regularly made comments about violence and murder.”
In comments cited in court filings, Teixiera spoke of wanting to “kill a [expletive] ton of people” because it would be “culling the weak minded,” and discussed wanting to make a minivan into an “assassination van.” Teixeira also allegedly searched for the terms “Ruby Ridge,” “Las Vegas shooting,” “Mandalay Bay shooting,” “Buffalo Tops shooting” and “Uvalde.”
At his home in Massachusetts, prosecutors say, Teixeira had access to an “arsenal” of weapons and accessories – including handguns, bolt-action rifles, shotguns, an AK-style high-capacity weapon, a gas mask, ammunition, tactical pouches, and a “silencer-style accessory” – all of which he kept in his bedroom.