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Family of Pentagon leak suspect say they’re supporting him

Jack Teixeira, an airman first class, has been accused of accessing classified information and posting government information to a social media platform.
A court sketch of Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira
A court sketch of Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira in Boston, on April 14.Margaret Small via AP

The family of a Massachusetts Air National Guardsman accused in the leak of top-secret Pentagon documents says they are “standing together in solidarity and support” with him, one day after a judge kept the 21-year-old detained.

Jack Teixeira, an airman first class who was assigned to the 102nd Intelligence Wing, is being charged under the Espionage Act on one of the two counts against him. The counts deal with national defense information and classified documents or materials, according to court records.

“His parents and large extended family are standing together in solidarity and support of Jack Teixeira through this very difficult and confusing ordeal,” Teixeira’s family said in a statement, which appears to be their first since his April 13 arrest.

On Thursday, a federal judge declined to immediately free Teixeira from custody pending trial, but did not rule on the matter.

Judge David Hennessy did not rule but took arguments from prosecutors and Teixeira’s defense under advisement. No ruling has been made as of Friday night, according to online court records.

Teixeira has not yet entered a plea.

Teixeira reportedly used Discord, an online forum originally used as a chat platform by video game enthusiasts, to share the leaked information with his small community of online friends.

Prosecutors have alleged Teixeira “engaged in an incredibly large and damaging dissemination of classified national defense information.” In a motion to keep him detained, they referred to information being posted to a social media platform but did not name it.

Prosecutors said Teixeira was essentially an information technology support specialist, but starting in February 2022 began to access hundreds of classified documents containing national defense information.

He allegedly posted government information online in December, prosecutors wrote in the detention motion. Prosecutors also raised the possibility he may have access to other classified information that has not surfaced publicly.

Teixeira's family in Friday's statement thanked family and friends for their support.

"We know there are more questions now than answers and are hopeful that Jack will receive the fair and just treatment to which he is entitled during this investigation. His health and safety are now and will be our top priority," the family said.

The case has prompted questions from lawmakers in Washington, D.C., about the handling of classified documents and who has access.

Teixeira is charged with unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information and with unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or materials, according to court records.