Denied a gun license over school threat, accused leaker Jack Teixeira later got top-secret clearance

By | April 28, 2023

The Wall Street Journal reports:

As a high-school student, the Air National Guardsman charged with leaking classified intelligence documents admitted he made violent threats that prevented him from getting a firearms license.

Two years later, however, he secured a top-secret security clearance.

The episode, which was reported to local police, was one of several that Airman First Class Jack Teixeira of the Massachusetts Air National Guard admitted had been problematic—to authorities weighing his application for a gun license, to investigators who ultimately granted him a security clearance, and to fellow online gamers with whom he allegedly offered to share classified documents, according to documents prosecutors filed in federal court late Wednesday.

Airman Teixeira is charged with unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material. He has yet to enter a plea.

Prosecutors are seeking to keep Airman Teixeira jailed while his court case proceeds, arguing he is a dangerous flight risk who might still have access to sensitive material that could aid foreign adversaries. He has been jailed since his arrest earlier this month. A judge didn’t immediately issue a ruling after a Thursday detention hearing.

Defense attorney Brendan O. Kelley told a federal judge Thursday that his client was a “21-year-old kid” who still lives in his hometown, and said he would stay with his father if released while his criminal case proceeds.

Airman Teixeira “accessed and may still have access to a trove of classified information that would be of tremendous value to hostile nation states that could offer him safe harbor and attempt to facilitate his escape from the United States,” prosecutors said late Wednesday in a court filing. [Continue reading…]