New details emerge in Petraeus investigation
Ex-CIA head Petraeus (2nd L), Scott and Jill Kelley (C and 2nd R) and Holly Petraeus are seen during the Gasparilla parade in Tampa, Florida in this file photo. AP photo
New details have emerged about the extramarital affair that abruptly ended the career of CIA chief David Petraeus, including the identity of a second woman whose complaints about harassing emails from the woman with whom he had the relationship, Paula Broadwell, prompted an FBI investigation.
An individual familiar with the investigation identified the second woman as Jill Kelley, a long-time friend of the Petraeus family and a volunteer social liaison officer with military families at the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.
Kelley went to the FBI after receiving threatening emails that were eventually traced to Broadwell, law enforcement and security officials have said, prompting an investigation that turned up evidence that Petraeus and Broadwell were having an extramarital affair.
A government official told The New York Post that the emails contained language such as: “I know what you did,” “back off,” and “stay away from my guy.”
“We and our family have been friends with General Petraeus and his family for over five years. We respect his and his family’s privacy and want the same for us and our three children,” Kelley said in a statement. Staffers for Petraeus said Kelley and her husband were regular guests at events he
held at Central Command headquarters.
A U.S. official said the coalition countries represented at Central Command gave Kelley an appreciation certificate, on which she was referred to as an “honorary ambassador” to the coalition, but she has no official status and is not employed by the U.S. government.
The affair has raised questions about whether U.S. national security was ever at risk and the timing of law enforcement and intelligence officials’ revelation of the matter to the White House, as well as who knew about the investigation before last week’s presidential election.
High-level officials at the FBI and the Justice Department were notified in the late summer that FBI agents had uncovered what appeared to be an extramarital affair involving Petraeus, government officials said, according to The New York Times. Law enforcement officials did not notify anyone outside the FBI or the Justice Department until last week as the investigation was incomplete and initial concerns about possible security breaches, which would demand more immediate action, did not appear to be justified, the officials said.
‘Like a lightning bolt’
Meanwhile, members of Congress said they wanted to know more details about the FBI investigation, questioning when the retired general came up in the FBI inquiry, whether national security was compromised, and why they weren’t told sooner.
“We received no advanced notice. It was like a lightning bolt,” said Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee. Peter King, Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the circumstances of the FBI probe smacked of a cover-up by the White House.
“It seems this [the investigation] has been going on for several months and, yet, now it appears that they’re saying that the FBI didn’t realize until Election Day that General Petraeus was involved. It just doesn’t add up,” said King.
Petraeus’ affair with Broadwell will be the subject of meetings tomorrow involving congressional intelligence committee leaders, FBI deputy director Sean Joyce and CIA deputy director Michael Morell.