By Tim McLaughlin and Sarah N. Lynch
BOSTON (Reuters) -A 21-year-old U.S. Air National Guardsman facing criminal charges for leaking top-secret military intelligence records online will remain in jail, according to court filings.
Jack Douglas Teixeira of North Dighton, Massachusetts, was due to appear in federal court in Boston on Wednesday to determine whether he would remain jailed pending trial after federal prosecutors told U.S. Magistrate Judge David Hennessy they intended to seek detention.
About two hours before the hearing, however, Teixeira’s federal public defenders filed a request asking the judge to delay the detention hearing for two weeks because they needed “more time to address the issues presented by the government’s request for detention.”
It remains to be seen whether Teixeira will opt to challenge the government’s detention request.
Teixeira appeared very briefly in court, where the judge accepted his request to waive his right to a preliminary hearing.
The case is believed to be the most serious U.S. security breach since more than 700,000 documents, videos and diplomatic cables appeared on the WikiLeaks website in 2010.
Senior intelligence, defense and State department officials briefed Congress on the leak on Wednesday. Afterward, lawmakers said they were incredulous that someone as young and low-ranking as Teixeira had access to highly classified material and been able to share it online so easily.
“We need to make sure that internal security processes… as well as the overall access questions, get thoroughly examined,” Democrat Mark Warner, chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, told reporters.
Warner said he and Senator Marco Rubio, the committee’s top Republican, had requested a review of security and clearance issues. “And clearly, there’s going to be some changes,” Warner added.
Teixeira was charged with one count of violating the Espionage Act related to the unlawful copying and transmitting of sensitive defense material, and a second charge related to unlawful removal of defense material to an unauthorized location.
He will likely face more charges as additional evidence is presented to a grand jury, legal experts said.
A conviction on the Espionage Act charge carries up to 10 years in prison.
(Reporting by Tim McLaughlin in Boston and Sarah N. Lynch in Washington; additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Eric Beech in Washington; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Jamie Freed)