After a Massachusetts Air National Guard member was arrested last week for disclosing highly classified military intelligence documents to users in a private chat room, some lawmakers are demanding the Pentagon review who is given access to classified materials, the Associated Press reported.
Last Thursday, the FBI arrested 21-year-old IT specialist Jack Teixeira at his home in Massachusetts.
Teixeira, who ran a chat room on Discord, shared top-secret information related to the war in Ukraine and other matters with members of the group. Despite his low rank, Teixeira has held a Top Secret security clearance since 2021.
Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters that the military entrusts its members “with a lot of responsibility at a very early age.”
According to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Teixeira is charged with removing or transmitting classified national defense information, which is a crime under the Espionage Act.
In an appearance on “Face the Nation” on Sunday, House Intelligence Committee chair Mike Turner said the committee would be looking into the matter to determine what changes need to be made to prevent this from happening again.
In a statement just hours after Teixeira’s arrest, chairman Turner pledged that the intel committee would review how this happened and “why it went unnoticed for weeks.” He said the committee would examine “how to prevent future leaks.”
In an interview on Newsmax last Thursday, Georgia Republican Congressman Rick Allen said the massive leak is proof that Congress must scrutinize the intelligence community and how government officials handle classified information.
While appearing on “America Agenda,” Congressman Allen called for an audit of the intelligence community to ensure those handling classified information are “properly trained.”
When asked about President Biden’s dismissive response to the massive leak, Allen said, unlike the president, he is “very concerned” about it and hoped that when the House returned from recess, lawmakers will receive a classified briefing on the matter.