The US airman who admitted to leaking a trove of classified Pentagon documents is facing separate Air Force charges under the military justice system, a spokesperson said Wednesday.

Jack Teixeira orchestrated the most damaging leak of US classified information in a decade while serving as a junior Massachusetts Air National Guard IT specialist, posting highly sensitive documents on the social media platform Discord, from which they spread across the internet.

He was arrested in April 2023 and could spend up to nearly 17 years in prison after pleading guilty in March to six federal counts of willful retention and transmission of national defense information.

Because Teixeira was on active duty at the time of the offenses, he was subject to both federal law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and the Air Force is pursuing charges stemming from alleged violations of the latter.

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"Following close coordination with the Department of Justice, the Air Force determined that separate and distinct charges should be preferred against A1C Jack Teixeira, for alleged misconduct related to his military duties," an Air Force spokesperson said.

A commander "reviewed the evidence and determined charges should be preferred under the UCMJ," and a hearing will be held on May 14 at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts to determine "whether the evidence is sufficient to refer the charges to trial by courts-martial," the spokesperson said.

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The charges are that Teixeira violated the UCMJ by failing to obey an order to stop accessing information that did not pertain to his duties, and seeking to obstruct justice by personally disposing of an iPad, hard drive and phone and directing another person to delete Discord messages that he had sent.

The documents leaked by Teixeira pointed to US concern over Ukraine's military capacity against invading Russian forces, and also showed Washington had apparently spied on allies Israel and South Korea, among other sensitive details.

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It was the biggest such breach since the 2013 dump of National Security Agency documents by Edward Snowden, and raised serious questions about access by Teixeira and other junior staffers to high-level secrets.

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