The F.B.I. and Justice Department prosecutors have recommended bringing felony charges against David H. Petraeus, contending that he provided classified information to a lover while he was director of the C.I.A., officials said. This would leave Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to decide whether to seek an indictment that could possibly send the pre-eminent military officer of his generation to prison, reports the New York Times.
The Justice Department investigation stems from an affair Mr. Petraeus had with Paula Broadwell, an Army Reserve officer who was writing his biography, and focuses on whether he gave her access to his C.I.A. email account and other highly classified information, according to Fox News. This scandal was reported on previously in the Inquisitr.
Petraeus, who resigned as CIA director after news of his affair broke in 2012, has been under investigation since then for passing secret information to Broadwell. She is the author of a biography of Petraeus, titled All In, reports WCNC Charlotte. FBI agents discovered classified documents on her computer when the affair became public.
Petraeus, a retired four-star general who served as commander of American forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan, has said he never provided classified information to Ms. Broadwell, and has indicated to the Justice Department that he has no interest in a plea deal that would spare him an embarrassing trial.
The New York Times also reports Mr. Holder was expected to decide by the end of last year whether to bring charges against Mr. Petraeus, but he has not yet indicated how he plans to proceed. The delay has frustrated some Justice Department and FBI officials and investigators, who have questioned whether Mr. Petraeus has received special treatment at a time when Mr. Holder has led a crackdown on government officials who reveal secrets to journalists.
The delayed process has also frustrated Mr. Petraeus’s friends and political allies, who say it is unfair to keep the matter hanging over his head. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, wrote to Mr. Holder last month that the investigation had deprived the nation of wisdom from one of its most experienced leaders.
“At this critical moment in our nation’s security,” he wrote, “Congress and the American people cannot afford to have his voice silenced or curtailed by the shadow of a long-running, unresolved investigation marked by leaks from anonymous sources.”
At a news conference shortly after Mr. Petraeus resigned, President Obama said he had no evidence that Mr. Petraeus had disclosed classified information “that in any way would have had a negative impact on our national security.”
“We are safer because of the work that Dave Petraeus has done,” Mr. Obama said, referring to his career in government. “And my main hope right now is — is that he 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 Politico]