David Petraeus has agreed to plead guilty to one count of removing and retaining classified material. The former CIA director was accused of sharing classified government information with his mistress and making false statements to a federal investigation.
As the charge is classified as a misdemeanor, Petraeus will not be sentenced to time in prison. However, federal prosecutors have recommended a $40,000 fine and two years of probation.
Prior to his 2012 resignation, David Petraeus served 37 years in the United States Army. Following his retirement from the Army, he served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency for more than two years.
Throughout his career, Petraeus was honored with numerous awards and medals, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal, and the State Department Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award.
Although he was well-known and highly respected throughout the world, Petraeus’ past accomplishments are now overshadowed by a scandal.
As reported by Politico, the scandal revolves around a set of Black Books, which the former commander kept during the 2010 period of conflict in Afghanistan. According to reports, the notebooks “contained a wide variety of top-secret information, including the identity of covert officers and details of discussions with the president.”
Following his return to the United States, David Petraeus’ mistress, Paula Broadwell, expressed interest in writing his biography. According to court documents, Petraeus consented to the biography and offered Broadwell the use of his notebooks to gather information.
Former CIA chief Petraeus to plead guilty to mishandling classified materials http://t.co/f8Iu6nUPvG
— TIME.com (@TIME) March 3, 2015
Although the classified information did not appear in the biography, officials were alerted to the situation during a separate investigation. According to reports, authorities recovered several e-mail messages, which suggested Broadwell had access to classified information. During the execution of a search warrant, authorities discovered the notebooks inside an unlocked drawer in David Petraeus’ desk.
David Patraeus, former director of the CIA, plead guilty over sharing classified data with lover. pic.twitter.com/SqdfAIViG7
— Socialnn Austin (@socialnn) March 3, 2015
The previous year, Patraeus signed a sworn affidavit, stating that he surrendered all classified materials upon his resignation from the CIA. As a result, the former commander was charged with retaining classified documents. He was further charged with sharing the classified information with his mistress.
As reported by New York Times, Patraeus was forced to admit to retaining and sharing the documents as part of the plea agreement. However, he and his family will be spared the embarrassment of further court proceedings.
Despite the negative publicity surrounding the scandal, David Petraeus’ history as a strong and capable leader is difficult to overlook.
In a 2012 news conference, President Barack Obama said he hopes David Petraeus “and his family are able to move on and that this ends up being a single side note on what has otherwise been an extraordinary career.”
[Image via ISAF via Getty Images]