Sen. Dianna Feinstein, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, “We received no advanced notice. It was like a lightning bolt.”
The bureau had been investigating harassing emails sent by Petraeus’ biographer and girlfriend Paula Broadwell to a second woman. The investigation revealed an affair between the two, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asked Petraeus to resign.
A senior military official identified the second woman as 37-year-old Jill Kelley, an unpaid social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in her hometown of Tampa, Florida.
Petraeus staffers said Kelley and her husband, Scott, were regular guests at events the ex-director held at the military’s Central Command headquarters in Tampa. A US official said Kelley had been given an appreciation certificate on which she was referred to as an “honorary ambassador” to the coalition countries represented at Central Command. Kelley, however, is not an employed by the United States government and has no official status.
The US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Kelley often dropped the “honorary” and referred to herself as an ambassador. The military official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said Kelley had been receiving harassing emails from Broadwell, which led to the FBI examining her account and discovering the affair with Petraeus.
Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Petraeus’s resignation came at a time that lawmakers still had questions about the attack on the US Consulate and CIA base in Benghazi, Libya. Petraeus may still be asked to testify about the US’s response to the attack.
“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,” King said.
Sixty-year-old Petraeus, who has been married to his wife Holly for 38 years, resigned from his position last Friday after acknowledging the affair. The couple has two adult children.
Broadwell, 40, is a graduate of the US Military Academy and an Army Reserve Officer. She is married with two young songs.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss said Petraeus was a “great leader” who did the right thing by stepping down. He also said Petraeus still deserves the country’s gratitude and could be still called to testify on Benghazi.
“He’s trying to put his life back together right now and that’s what he needs to focus on,” Chambliss said.