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Pentagon leak suspect Jack Teixeira pleads not guilty to federal charges

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
/
AP
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.

Updated June 21, 2023 at 6:56 PM ET

Jack Teixeira, the Air National guardsman accused of leaking classified documents online, pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday to six federal charges.

The 21-year-old guardsman entered the pleas in a Massachusetts court after he was indicted last week by a federal grand jury in Boston. He is currently facing six counts of willful retention and transmission of national defense information, according to the Department of Justice.

Each charge Teixeira faces has a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

"The unauthorized removal, retention and transmission of classified information jeopardizes our nation's security. Individuals granted access to classified materials have a fundamental duty to safeguard the information for the safety of the United States, our active service members, its citizens and its allies," Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy said in a statement following Teixeira's indictment.

Following the news of his plea, Teixeira's family said in a statement Wednesday to The Associated Press that they will "remain committed as ever" when it comes to supporting him.

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

Teixeira, who was arrested in April, faces charges pertaining to sharing highly classified military documents about the war in Ukraine — along with other top national security issues — on the popular social media website Discord.

At the request of prosecutors, a federal judge had ordered Teixeira to remain behind bars until his trial.

The next hearing in Teixeira's case is set to take place on August 9.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jonathan Franklin
Jonathan Franklin is a reporter on the Newsdesk covering both race & identity and breaking news.