Identity of second woman emerges in Petraeus’s downfall
(Reuters) / 12 November 2012
New details emerged on Sunday 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.
A person familiar with the investigation identified the second woman as Jill Kelley, a long-time friend of the Petraeus family.
Kelley went to the FBI after receiving threatening emails that eventually were 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.
“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 obtained by ABC News.
Broadwell has not been available for comment and both the FBI and CIA have declined public comment on the matter.
Petraeus has made no public comment since he announced his resignation on Friday.
The affair has raised questions about whether US 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.
Meanwhile, a former spokesman for Petraeus during his time as an Army general has said the affair with Broadwell, an Army reserve officer who co-authored a glowing biography of him, began after Petraeus retired from the Army in August 2011 to lead the spy agency and ended four months ago by mutual consent.
Retired Colonel Steven Boylan, who was Petraeus’s spokesman in Iraq and has spoken to the general since he resigned at the CIA, downplayed the question of whether US security had been at risk. He said Petraeus never gave Broadwell classified information or communicated with her via his government email.
“My understanding is that she was only at the CIA twice. And at no time, based on conversations with him, did he provide her classified information, nor did she receive anything from him in that manner,” Boylan said in an interview.
“My understanding is that they mutually determined that it was time to end it,” he said, adding that Petraeus “knows he made a huge mistake” and is now trying to focus on his family. “It wasn’t right. And it was done. That was about four months ago.”
A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Petraeus was first interviewed in connection with the FBI investigation during the week of Oct. 28, about a week after Broadwell was questioned. The FBI informed Petraeus’s boss, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, on the evening of Election Day, Nov. 6.
Senior US officials said Clapper then informed the White House’s National Security Council staff of the issue and Petraeus’ intention to resign on Wednesday, the morning after President Barack Obama was re-elected to a second four-year term. Obama was informed later that day, they said.
“Extremely poor judgment”
Petraeus, a widely admired soldier-scholar credited with turning around the US war in Iraq and who led NATO and US troops in Afghanistan, announced his resignation in a letter to the CIA workforce on Friday, acknowledging “extremely poor judgment” in having an extramarital affair.
The person familiar with the investigation said Kelley initially approached a Florida field office of the FBI - not FBI headquarters - with a complaint of cyber-harrassment. She had received numerous intimidating emails from a handful of different, opaque pseudonymous addresses.
The nature of the emails, according to the source, who was briefed on their contents, was “I know what you’re doing” and similar suggestions that someone was onto Kelley. There was no explicit threat of violence.
Upon tracing them, the FBI found out that Paula Broadwell was behind them, this source said. They also found correspondence between Broadwell and Petraeus leading to the revelation of an affair between them.
High-level Justice Department officials were informed in late summer 2012 of an ongoing investigation involving Petraeus, according to a law enforcement official. This source would not name the Justice officials or say whether Attorney General Eric Holder was among them.
The Justice Department followed longstanding policy by not revealing the investigation to anyone outside the department, such as White House or congressional aides, this official said. It would be inappropriate and unfair to do so, and it might jeopardize any potential prosecution, the official added.
As the investigation moved into the fall, the focus was potential cyber-harassment by one woman against another woman.
Petraeus was thought of by investigators as a potential witness or party to the investigation, but he was never a target of investigators. Prosecutors considered whether the conduct in question constituted a crime of cyber-harassment under the law.
During their interviews with investigators, Broadwell and Petraeus both admitted to the affair, the official said. After the interviews, prosecutors decided they likely would not bring charges, based on the available evidence.
Another US government official said the FBI investigation into the emails was fairly straightforward and did not require obtaining court orders to monitor the email accounts of those involved, including the personal email account of Petraeus. Rather, the official said, investigators reviewed the emails that Kelley had brought to their attention.
“There wasn’t a court order,” the government official said, adding that that action would have been a last resort when other avenues had been exhausted.
“We look to see if a law has been violated, if there is not, we move on,” the official said.
Friend: Petraeus began affair after taking CIA job
12 November 2012
WASHINGTON: Retired US Gen. David Petraeus began an affair with his biographer in 2011, two months after he became CIA director, a former top aide said Monday, adding that the former general is “devastated.”
The sudden resignation of Petraeus on Friday after a stellar and disciplined career stunned Washington, and members of Congress have asked whether national security was compromised and why they weren’t told sooner.
“It was like a lightning bolt,” Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Petraeus had been scheduled to appear before congressional committees on Thursday to testify about the Sept. 11 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including US Ambassador Chris Stevens. CIA deputy director Michael Morell was expected to testify in place of Petraeus, but Feinstein and others didn’t rule out the possibility that Congress will compel Petraeus to testify at a later date.
Petraeus and his biographer, 40-year-old Paula Broadwell, have been quiet about details of their relationship.
But a former spokesman for Petraeus, retired Army Col. Steve Boylan, told ABC on Monday that Petraeus ended the affair four months ago.
Boylan said the former general’s wife of 38 years, Holly, is “furious.” Boylan, who said he spoke with Petraeus over the weekend, also told NBC that Petraeus is “devastated.”
The FBI discovered the affair after another woman reported harassing e-mails from Broadwell.
A senior US military official identified the woman as Jill Kelley, 37, who serves as an unpaid social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, where the military’s Central Command and Special Operations Command are located.
In a statement Sunday, Kelley and her husband, Scott, said: “We and our family have been friends with Gen. 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.”
The military official who identified Kelley spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation. He said Kelley had received harassing e-mails from Broadwell, which led the FBI to examine her e-mail account and eventually discover her relationship with Petraeus. The FBI contacted Petraeus and other intelligence officials, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asked Petraeus to resign.
It was not clear what led Broadwell to send the e-mails to Kelley.
A former associate of Petraeus confirmed the target of the e-mails was Kelley but said there was no affair between the two, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the retired general’s private life. The associate, who has been in touch with Petraeus since his resignation, said Kelley and her husband were longtime friends of Petraeus and wife, Holly.
Attempts to reach Kelley were not successful. Broadwell did not return phone calls or e-mails.
Petraeus and his wife have two adult children, including a son who led an infantry platoon in Afghanistan as an Army lieutenant.
Broadwell, a graduate of the US Military Academy and an Army Reserve officer, is married with two young sons.
Petraeus’ affair with Broadwell will be the subject of meetings Wednesday involving congressional intelligence committee leaders, FBI deputy director Sean Joyce and Morell.
Clapper was told by the Justice Department of the Petraeus investigation at about 5 p.m. last Tuesday on Election Day, and then called Petraeus and urged him to resign, according to a senior US intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.
FBI officials said the congressional committees weren’t informed until Friday, one official said, because the matter started as a criminal investigation into harassing e-mails sent by Broadwell to Kelley.
Concerned that the e-mails he exchanged with Broadwell raised the possibility of a security breach, the FBI brought the matter up with Petraeus directly, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation.
Petraeus decided to quit, though he was breaking no laws by having an affair, officials said.
Staffers for Petraeus said Kelley and her husband were regular guests at events he held at Central Command headquarters.
A US 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 US government.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the case publicly, said Kelley is known to drop the “honorary” part and refer to herself as an ambassador.