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21-year-old Pentagon documents leaker charged with violating the espionage act

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Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira was arraigned Friday in Boston and charged with violating the espionage act.

National Review reports that FBI special agent, Patrick Lueckenhoff, told a federal judge there was probable cause to believe Teixeira had violated two parts of Title 18 of the federal code: Section 793, which falls under the Espionage Act, and Section 1924.

“The Espionage Act is a World War I-era law that criminalizes the mishandling of national-defense information that could be used to harm the United States or to aid a foreign adversary. It was enacted before the modern classification system for protecting government secrets, which distinguishes between secret and top secret documents, for example.”

National Review explains that the complaint says Teixeira posted the classified information as paragraphs of text at first. “However, by January 2023, he was posting photographs of the documents which appeared to have the classified markings of official U.S. government documents. The FBI interviewed a member of Teixeira’s online group, who explained one of the documents that was posted was a document which described the status of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, including troop movements. The user explained Teixeira became concerned he would be caught transcribing the documents at work, so he began to take them home to photograph.”

Under Section 793, Teixeira is accused of illegally retaining and transmitting information — a conviction carrying a prison sentence of up to 10 years per violation.

Teixeira is also accused of violating Section 1924, which  criminalizes the unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material. It is punished by a fine or a prison sentence of up to five years. This scope of this section does not extend to the act of giving the documents to other people, like under the Espionage Act.

However, Section 1924 does specifically refer to classified information, so prosecutors would have to prove to a jury that a mishandled file was classified.

“This is not just about taking home documents, that is of course itself illegal. This is about the transmission…of the documents,” attorney general Merrick Garland said Friday. “There are very serious penalties associated with that. We intend to send that message, how important it is to our national security.”

CONTINUE READING: National Review

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Elections

Venezuela’s communist president punishing Biden admin by halting flights of migrants being repatriated from U.S.

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Venezuela is pushing around the Biden administration by halting flights of migrants being repatriated from the U.S. and Mexico. According to U.S. officials, Venezuela’s communist President Nicolas Maduro is breaking a deal with the United States, which was a “key instrument for the Biden administration to halt illegal migration from the communist South American country” reports ADN America.

Reportedly the “halt in flights came as part of a Venezuelan measure after the White House reinstated some economic sanctions it had lifted against its oil and gas industry as part of a gesture to move the country toward democratic elections.”

Washington has since accused Caracas of following through with its promises to ease pressure and intimidation tactics against opposition candidates, such as the country’s prized Unity candidate, Maria Corina Machado, ADN America adds.

“Corina Machado obtained an impressive 72% level of support, marking a milestone as the candidate with greatest support in the history of the country before elections.” ADN has published several reports outlining the crack downs, kidnappings of opposition candidate campaign workers and intimidation tactics.

In addition to breaking its promises to observe democratic principles for free and fair elections, Venezuela has also asserted a claim it has a right to invade its oil rich neighbor, Guyana, sparking further concerns within the Pentagon and State Department.

According to U.S. officials who spoke to The Wall Street Journal, chances of reigniting the agreement are slim and relations between both sides continue to slip into a dark chasm. “Increased deportations and containing the surge of migrants from Venezuela, the third-largest nationality after Mexico and Guatemala, could have helped ease some of the pressure on Biden, whose poll ratings have been sliding ahead of November’s presidential election, partly because of the immigration issue,” the Journal reported.

The U.S. has so far repatriated about 1,800 Venezuelans on 15 flights since the October agreement was brokered, a sliver of the migrants who have penetrated the southwest border during the Biden era.

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