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Pres. Biden orders 'limitations' on classified material after leak

The president directed the military and intelligence community to "take steps to further secure and limit" distribution of classified information.
Posted at 6:38 PM, Apr 14, 2023

President Joe Biden has called for more limitations on distribution of sensitive material following a Massachusetts Air National Guardsman being charged under the Espionage Act with possessing and disseminating highly classified national defense documents.

In a statement, the president praised the "rapid action taken by law enforcement" while underscoring the investigation into the validity of the documents continues. He directed the military and intelligence communities to "take steps to further secure and limit distribution of sensitive information."

The accused leaker, 21-year-old Jack Teixeira, appeared in court for the first time on Friday to face charges less than 24 hours after being arrested at his home Thursday outside of Boston. He did not enter a plea, but a federal judge ruled he will remain in jail until his detention hearing scheduled for April 19.

While it can be typical for a lower-ranking guardsman — such as Teixeira, who worked as an IT specialist responsible for communications and cables — to have top-secret clearance, it remains unclear if he had access to the classified level of the documents, which began leaking on the gaming site Discord months ago.

Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira is taken into custody.

Guardsman accused of leaking classified information to remain in jail

A federal judge ruled that the National Guardsman accused of leaking classified Ukraine war documents will remain in jail for now.


The documents, some of which Defense officials have said appear to be doctored, detailed Ukraine's preparations and potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities ahead of anticipated counteroffensive maneuvers against Russia this spring. Some of the documents also provided clues about the United States' own surveillance on China as well as Ukraine and other allies.

White House National Security Spokesman John Kirby told Scripps News understanding "how those documents were posted for as long as they were without us being able to detect [them]" is something they continue to examine and the president is interested in learning about.

"We've got some more homework to do here to try to do the forensics to figure out what we need to do to be able to marshal our resources in a better way to prevent that from happening again," Kirby said. "This isn't about this particular situation, isn't about whether the intelligence was right or wrong. The issue is it shouldn't have been out in the public domain period."