Lawyers for Pentagon leak suspect Jack Teixeira push for his release while awaiting trial

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Lawyers for Pentagon leak suspect Jack Teixeira on Thursday filed a motion pushing for their client’s release from jail while he awaits trial. 

The memorandum comes in response to a 20-page court filing from the government last week which argued that Teixeira is a risk to national security, poses a physical danger to the community and should not be released from custody. 

Thursday’s 14-page reply from Teixeira’s defense attorney was filed in support of appealing the magistrate judge’s ruling in May that Teixeira must remain behind bars while the case plays out. The judge found that releasing Teixeira would pose a risk that he would attempt to flee the country or obstruct justice. 

Teixeira challenged the judge’s decision last month, pointing to the pretrial release of former President Donald Trump and others charged in high-profile classified documents cases. 

In Thursday’s court filing, Teixeira’s defense team argued the government is ‘attempting to justify pretrial detention on dangerous grounds’ and that ‘The Court should reject the government’s thin attempt to trojan horse an argument.’ 

The defense argued that the government ‘should vacate the Magistrate’s Order on Detention and order that Mr. Teixeira be released subject to the least restrictive conditions it finds appropriate.’  

Teixeira, a 21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guard member, has been behind bars since April on charges that he shared classified military documents about Russia’s war in Ukraine and other sensitive national security topics on Discord, a social media platform popular with people playing online games.

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. Teixeira worked as a ‘cyber transport systems specialist,’ essentially an IT specialist responsible for military communications networks.

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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