Bloomberg Government subscribers get the stories like this first. Act now and gain unlimited access to everything you need to know. Learn more.
The Biden administration is going to have a hard time explaining how the biggest US intelligence leak in a decade may have been committed by a 21-year-old airman whose role — “cyber transport systems journeyman” — required a high-school degree, a driver’s license and up to 18 months of on-the-job-training.
The FBI arrested Jack Teixeira, of Dighton, Massachusetts, on Thursday, with the promise of a swift arraignment on Friday. Attorney General Merrick Garland said he was being held in connection with the “unauthorized removal, retention and transmission of classified national defense information.”
As Pentagon jobs go, Teixeira’s was pretty junior. An Air Force job description says workers like him “keep our communications systems up and running and play an integral role in our continuing success.” He joined the Air National Guard in 2019, according to his service record.
That will raise the inevitable question: If a low-level Defense Department employee has access to such sensitive information, who doesn’t?
To address those concerns, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced Thursday that he’d ordered a review of the Pentagon’s “intelligence access, accountability and control procedures” to make sure a leak like that never happens again. Read more.
Senate Republicans may refuse to help Democrats replace ailing Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on the Judiciary Committee, a move that would extend a freeze on most judicial nominees.
Feinstein, whose return to Washington is being delayed by medical complications from shingles, is being prodded by some of her fellow Democrats to end her career early.
Abortion Pill Latest
Abortion pill providers remain in limbo on the legality of reproductive care as the Biden administration seeks to stop court-ordered restrictions on mifepristone from going into effect this weekend.
Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) wants to talk about maternal health and preventing deaths—with anyone and everyone.
While the fate of mifepristone, also known as the abortion pill, plays out in US courts, health-care providers have another drug they can continue to use to offer medication abortion.
China Tensions & Taiwan Ties
The US is pressing the need for allies to coordinate against economic coercion, not just military threats, as Japan prepares to host top diplomats from the Group of Seven nations amid heightened tensions with China.
Taiwan is working with friendly nations on how to respond to a possible economic blockade by China, a scenario that appears more likely than a direct military attack on the island, according to a senior Taiwanese diplomat.
MORE ON US FOREIGN POLICY
The US called on Vietnam to release blogger Nguyen Lan Thang who was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday for anti-state activities ahead of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s weekend visit for talks in Hanoi.
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai will meet with leaders in the Philippines and Japan next week, as the Biden administration works to prove that its year-old trade framework is yielding results.
North Korea said it tested a new type of solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile that could deliver multiple nuclear warheads to the US mainland, with leader Kim Jong Un on hand to see the launch of his latest weapon.
Politics, Probes & 2024
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and relatives sold three Georgia properties that include Thomas’s boyhood home to GOP mega-donor Harlan Crow in 2014, according to a report.
Donald Trump’s attorney questioned the credibility and motives of a New York writer who accused the former president of sexual assault, after discovering her lawsuit was being bankrolled by the billionaire co-founder of LinkedIn who is also a major donor to the Democratic Party.
Trump will get another chance to fend off a defamation lawsuit by writer E. Jean Carroll, but it will be harder for him to argue that because he was president at the time, he is immune from being sued.
Trump defended his real estate business during a seven-hour deposition with New York Attorney General Letitia James, defying expectations that he would plead his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination as he did the first time he was questioned.
President Joe Biden’s return to Ireland unleashed a wellspring of reflection and parable, even for a man prone to both. And while he stopped short of an announcement, the lessons of Ireland hang over his next decision: a bid for reelection next year at age 81.
- Biden tours the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Knock and the North Mayo Heritage and Genealogical Centre’s Family History Research Unit in County Mayo, Ireland and delivers remarks at Saint Muredach’s Cathedral. He’ll return to Dublin before departing for Dover, Delaware.
Other News We’re Reading Today
Lawmakers are poised to start debating rail safety legislation spurred by recent train derailments, including one involving hazardous materials in East Palestine, Ohio, in February.
Top Justice Department antitrust officials are taking the unusual step of urging Wall Street’s main regulator to proceed with caution on a suite of proposals to overhaul the plumbing of equities markets.
The US Supreme Court refused to block a legal settlement that would cancel $6 billion in debt for students who say they were misled about job prospects by a group of mostly for-profit colleges.