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GOP Criticizes Greene for Defending Suspect in Leak of Classified Documents

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) criticized Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-GA, for defending the Air National Guardsman accused of leaking sensitive documents from the Pentagon. 

Greene defended the 21-year-old on Twitter following his arrest on Thursday. “[Jack] Teixeira is a white male, Christian, and anti-war. That makes him an enemy to the Biden regime.”

She continued, “Ask yourself who is the real enemy? A young, low-level national guardsman? Or the administration that is waging war in Ukraine, a non-NATO nation, against nuclear Russia without war powers?”

Graham told ABC News “This Week” Greene’s comment was “one of the most irresponsible statements you could make.” He added that what Greene is suggesting will “destroy America’s ability to defend itself,” and her statement insinuates “that it’s okay to release classified information based on your political views – that the ends justify the means.” 

Graham made it very clear that it is not okay and “there is no justification for this.” 

Teixeira was arrested Thursday in North Dighton, Massachusetts, a week after an initial public disclosure that the classified material had been posted online to a small Discord group, a social media platform popular with gamers, according to CNN

He was arraigned in Boston on Friday and was charged under the Espionage Act with unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information and unauthorized removal of classified information and defense materials. The charges carry a maximum of 10 years.

NBC News obtained more than 50 of the leaked documents, many of them labeled “Top Secret.”

They reveal details of the U.S. spying on Russia’s war machines in Ukraine and secret assessments of Ukraine’s combat power, as well as intelligence about America’s allies, including South Korea and Israel.

Other lawmakers voiced their concerns, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, a member of the Intelligence and Armed Services committees, that there will be a briefing with all the senators this week and that both panels will hold hearings.

Gillibrand said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” “I have a lot of questions about why were these documents lying around. Why did this particular person have access to them? Where was the custody of the documents, and who were they for?”

She added that the airman sounded “extremely immature” and did not understand the “weight and importance of these documents.”

Rep. Nancy Mace, R-SC, a member of the Armed Services Committee, said it’s too soon to praise or condemn the 21-year-old as the investigation is not closed.

“I want to know, I think like every other American, who was in charge. And each side right now – one side’s calling him a traitor, the other side’s calling him a hero,” Mace said on “Fox News Sunday.” 

“Neither side has the information or the data to be able to make that decision yet because there’s been no investigation,” she continued. “We haven’t even had our first classified briefing, which will happen later this week when we’re back in session.”


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