UPDATE – JANUARY 9, 2015
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, leaving Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to decide whether to seek an indictment that could send the pre-eminent military officer of his generation to prison.
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…
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.”
But investigators concluded that, whether or not the disclosure harmed national security, it amounted to a significant security breach in the office of one of the nation’s most trusted intelligence leaders. They recommended that Mr. Petraeus face charges, saying lower-ranking officials had been prosecuted for far less…
WaPo – By
The FBI probe into the sex scandal that led to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus has expanded to ensnare Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced early Tuesday.
According to a senior U.S. defense official, the FBI has uncovered between 20,000 and 30,000 pages of “potentially inappropriate” emails between Allen and Jill Kelley, a 37-year-old Tampa woman whose close friendship with Petraeus ultimately led to his downfall. Allen, a Marine, succeeded Petraeus as the top allied commander in Afghanistan in July 2011.
Statement by the Secretary of Defense on General John Allen
On Sunday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation referred to the Department of Defense a matter involving General John Allen, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
Today, I directed that the matter be referred to the Inspector General of the Department of Defense for investigation, and it is now in the hands of the Inspector General. I have informed the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The House Armed Services Committee has also been notified.
While the matter is under investigation and before the facts are determined, General Allen will remain Commander of ISAF. His leadership has been instrumental in achieving the significant progress that ISAF, working alongside our Afghan partners, has made in bringing greater security to the Afghan people and in ensuring that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists. He is entitled to due process in this matter.
In the meantime, I have asked the President – and the President has agreed – to put his nomination on hold until the relevant facts are determined. I have asked both Senators Levin and McCain that the confirmation hearing on General Allen’s pending nomination to be Commander of United States European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe be delayed.
The President has nominated General Joseph Dunford, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, to succeed General Allen at ISAF. I respectfully requested that the Senate act promptly on that nomination.
EXCLUSIVE: Petraeus mistress may have revealed classified information at Denver speech on real reason for Libya attack
Fox News –
… A well-placed Washington source confirms to Fox News that there were Libyan militiamen being held at the CIA annex in Benghazi and that their presence was being looked at as a possible motive for the staged attack on the consulate and annex that night.
According to multiple intelligence sources who have served in Benghazi, there were more than just Libyan militia members who were held and interrogated by CIA contractors at the CIA annex in the days prior to the attack. Other prisoners from additional countries in Africa and the Middle East were brought to this location.
The Libya annex was the largest CIA station in North Africa, and two weeks prior to the attack, the CIA was preparing to shut it down. Most prisoners, according to British and American intelligence sources, had been moved two weeks earlier…
Charlotte Observer – By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Elisabeth Arriero
Three days after Paula Broadwell entered the center of national controversy, FBI agents Monday evening entered her family’s Dilworth home and appeared to be searching both floors.
About eight to 10 agents brought cardboard boxes used for carrying papers and were on both floors of the home for the search, which began shortly before 9 p.m. About two dozen members of the local and national media gathered. It wasn’t immediately clear what the agents were focused on.
The agents appeared to start their search in the rear of the house in the kitchen and began turning on lights as they moved into different rooms. As the agents reached the two-hour mark, lights in most rooms appeared to be turned on. The search was still under way at 11:30 p.m…
WSJ – By DEVLIN BARRETT, EVAN PEREZ and SIOBHAN GORMAN
The FBI agent who started the case was a friend of Jill Kelley, the Tampa woman who received harassing, anonymous emails that led to the probe, according to officials. Ms. Kelley, a volunteer who organizes social events for military personnel in the Tampa area, complained in May about the emails to a friend who is an FBI agent. That agent referred it to a cyber crimes unit, which opened an investigation.
However, supervisors soon became concerned that the initial agent might have grown obsessed with the matter, and prohibited him from any role in the investigation, according to the officials.
One official said the agent in question sent shirtless photos to Ms. Kelley well before the email investigation began, and FBI officials only became aware of them some time later. Eventually, supervisors told the agent he was to have nothing to do with the case, though he never had a formal role in the investigation, the official said.
The agent, after being barred from the case, contacted a member of Congress, Washington Republican David Reichert, because he was concerned senior FBI officials were going to sweep the matter under the rug, the officials said. That information was relayed to top congressional officials, who notified FBI headquarters in Washington.
WSJ – By EVAN PEREZ, SIOBHAN GORMAN and DEVLIN BARRETT
… The emails began arriving in Jill Kelley’s inbox in May, U.S. officials familiar with the probe said. Ms. Kelley, who helped organize social events at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., told the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the emails, which she viewed as harassing, the U.S. officials said.
… Ms. Kelley didn’t know who sent the emails. Some appeared to be accusing her of an inappropriate relationship but didn’t name Mr. Petraeus. Agents determined the emails were sent from an account shared by Ms. Broadwell and her husband, who live in North Carolina, the officials said.
But the agents spent weeks piecing together who may have sent them. They used metadata footprints left by the emails to determine what locations they were sent from. They matched the places, including hotels, where Ms. Broadwell was during the times the emails were sent.
FBI agents and federal prosecutors used the information as probable cause to seek a warrant to monitor Ms. Broadwell’s email accounts.
They learned that Ms. Broadwell and Mr. Petraeus had set up private Gmail accounts to use for their communications, which included explicit details of a sexual nature, according to U.S. officials. But because Mr. Petraeus used a pseudonym, agents doing the monitoring didn’t immediately uncover that he was the one communicating with Ms. Broadwell.
By late summer, after the monitoring of Ms. Broadwell’s emails uncovered the link to Mr. Petraeus, prosecutors and agents alerted senior officials at FBI and the Justice Department, including Mr. Holder, U.S. officials say. The investigators never monitored Mr. Petraeus’s email accounts, the officials say.
In September, prosecutors and agents began a legal analysis to determine whether there were any charges that could be brought. Among the discussions: whether to interview Ms. Broadwell, who was the focus of the criminal probe, and Mr. Petraeus.
Top officials signed off on the interviews, which occurred in late September and October, just before the U.S. presidential election. During Ms. Broadwell’s first interview in September, she admitted to the affair and turned over her computer, the officials said.
On her computer, investigators found classified documents, the U.S. officials said, a discovery that raised new concerns.
At Mr. Petraeus’s interview in the week before the election, he also admitted the affair and said he hadn’t provided the classified documents to Ms. Broadwell. Agents conducted a second interview with Ms. Broadwell on Nov. 2. She also said Mr. Petraeus wasn’t the source of the documents…
FBI and Justice Department officials reassessed their investigation over the next several days and determined there wasn’t sufficient cause to bring charges. They advised the Director of National Intelligence of their findings at about 5 p.m. Tuesday, Election Day.
Shawn Turner, a spokesman for Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, said Mr. Clapper spoke with Mr. Petraeus that evening and the following day and urged him to step down.
“Speaking as a friend, colleague and fellow general officer, Gen. Clapper urged Gen. Petraeus to step down,” Mr. Turner said. Mr. Clapper is a retired Air Force lieutenant general, and Mr. Petraeus retired from the Army as a four-star general before assuming the helm at CIA.
Mr. Clapper informed the White House on Wednesday that Mr. Petraeus was considering resigning, Mr. Turner said.
Mr. Obama learned of the affair Thursday morning and met that day with Mr. Petraeus, who offered his resignation. Mr. Obama didn’t immediately accept it and took a day to consider it…
Gossipextra -Posted by Jose Lambiet
There could be a good financial reason why Tampa socialite Jill Kelley blew the whistle on ex-CIA boss David Petraeus‘ affair with his biographer.
The story of the sexy tattletale’s takedown of master spy Petraeus is now worth millions!
And it so happens that social climber Jill and her oncologist hubby Scott Kelley owe millions to banks after the collapse of their real estate holdings in 2010, Gossip Extra has learned.
The Kelleys currently are the targets of at least four indebtedness lawsuits, and two foreclosures in Hillsborough County, according to court records.
And they’re fighting to keep their properties, the records show.
None of the half dozen lawyers hired by the Kelleys to fight off banks and credit card companies returned calls or emails to discuss their cases.
And the Kelleys are communicating with the reporters through bland statements, none of them addressing their finances…
… Regions Bank, meanwhile, is trying to foreclose on the Kelleys historic waterfront house. That’s where the Kelley’s famously entertained Petraeus and his wife Holly in February 2010 during the Gasparilla boat parade.
Hillsborough records show the Kelleys bought the Georgian brick mansion in 2004 for $1.5 million. And Region now claims they defaulted on a $271,000-credit line with their house, at 1005 Bayshore Boulevard, as collateral.
The five-bedroomer, in the Hyde Park district, is currently worth $840,000, according to the county’s property appraiser.
Worse: Central Bank is trying to foreclose on a $2.1 million note it holds on a 12,000-square-foot downtown Tampa office building owned by the Kelleys!
NY Post – By GEOFF EARLE, JEANE MACINTOSH and DAN MANGAN
The letter was filed in DC Superior Court, where the father of Khawam’s 4-year-old son filed for divorce three years ago, two sources said. The status of the divorce was not immediately known.
Petraeus’ letter was filed as the FBI was investigating a complaint by Kelley, a 37-year-old, married Tampa, Fla., mom, that she was the target of anonymous e-mails warning her to “back off” and “stay away from my guy.”
The FBI determined the e-mails were written by Petraeus’ biographer — married mom of two Paula Broadwell, 40, who had allegedly engaged in a months-long affair with the also-married Petraeus before he supposedly broke it off four months ago…
… Petraeus wrote his letter amid a bitter divorce and custody battle between Khawam and Grayson Wolfe, a partner in a DC-based private venture firm.
A judge in November 2011 gave Wolfe sole custody of the couple’s son after finding that Khawam, a lawyer, repeatedly lied under oath and filed bogus domestic-violence and child-abuse claims against her husband after their one-year marriage began crumbling in 2009.
That judge also found that Khawam routinely defied court orders to let the child see his dad and sent harassing e-mails to Wolfe’s friends and business partners that “excoriated Mr. Wolfe for being a horrible father and husband.”
The judge blasted Khawam for giving false evidence, and noted that a court-ordered shrink had found her domestic-violence allegations to be “part of an ever-expanding set of sensational accusations . . . that are so numerous, so extraordinary and [so] distorted that they defy any common-sense view of reality.”
The judge also noted that she “is a psychologically unstable person.”
Paula Broadwell @paulabroadwell 10:33 AM – 29 Apr 12
Petraeus for VP? But with Romney or Obama? http://tinyurl.com/6wh93y2
OBAMA: ROMNEY WANTS VP PETRAEUS
Tue Aug 07 2012 12:01:02 ET
President Obama whispered to a top fundraiser this week that he believes GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney wants to name Gen. David Petraeus to the VP slot!
“The president wasn’t joking,” the insider explains to the DRUDGE REPORT.
A Petraeus drama has been quietly building behind the scenes.
Romney is believed to have secretly met with the four-star general in New Hampshire.
The pick could be a shrewd Romney choice. A cross-party pull. The Obama administration hailed Petraeus as one of history’s greatest military strategists. Petraeus was unanimously confirmed as the Director of the CIA by the US Senate 94-0.
But Petraeus has categorically asserted that he has NO political ambitions. And Team Obama stands prepared to tie one of their own to “Bush wars.” A Petraeus pick could been seen as simply shuffling the decks of power in DC.
“He’s a serious man, for seriously dangerous times,” notes a top Republican.
A DRUDGE POLL on Tuesday morning showed readers split on if Romney should give it a go.
And the calendar is running out of days.
Gen David Petraeus DENIES that he will leave the CIA to be Romney’s vice president after report says Obama was overheard saying Mitt wants war hero as running mate
Daily Mail – By Michael Zennie
- Drudge Report says Barack Obama was overheard saying Romney was courting the popular general
- Petraeus was the most prominent military commander in the nation — credited with stabilizing the Iraq War
- Tension between the general, who is now CIA director, and Obama over draw down of troops in Afghanistan
- Petraeus issued a statement denying the rumor
- Obama is thought to fear Petraeus’ political power if he becomes a critic of the administration
- White House denies Obama ever mentioned Petraeus as possible vice presidential candidate
Mitt Romney is courting General David Petraeus, the hero of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, to be his vice presidential pick, it was claimed today.
In spite of speculation on The Drudge Report which cited an unnamed source who overheard President Barack Obama talking about the Republican candidate’s desire to name Petraeus as his running mate, Petraeus released a statement denying the rumor.
‘Director Petraeus feels very privileged to be able to continue to serve our country in his current position, and, as he has stated clearly numerous times before, he will not seek elected office,’ CIA spokesman Todd Ebitz told Reuters.
It remains to be seen whether the four-star general, who is currently the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, would even agree to such a proposition. In previous interviews he has said he has no interest in jumping into the political arena.
If Petreaus were tapped to be the Republican vice presidential nominee, it could shift the entire balance and momentum of the election — electrifying Romney’s campaign by picking a man regarded by most of the nation to be a war hero.
And Obama could find a fearsome political enemy in the retired general. The two men had a falling out after the president declined to follow Petreaus’ advice on keeping American forces in Afghanistan longer.
The president is said to be nervous about giving Petreaus too much political power in his administration — while at the same time worry about the damage he could mete out if he becomes an administration critic…
The former Massachusetts governor overtly dodged a question about Petraeus while speaking with reporters this afternoon.
Allies describe Petraeus as a ‘good soldier’ who follows orders, but he and Obama had a falling out of sorts over the troop draw down in Afghanistan.
Petraeus opposed pulling American forces out of the war-torn nation when he was the top general in the country and asked the president to give the military more time to beat back the Taliban.
However, the president is believed to have listened to polls from a war-weary nation instead of his top general.
Petraeus confirmed that revelation during US Senate hearings on his appointment to the CIA.
The Romney campaign has been mum about its vetting process for the Republican vice presidential nominee.
Petraeus could be a game-changer for Romney, who is beginning to trail Obama in some key battleground states.
The general hold a PhD in international relations from Princeton University and is celebrated as one of the greatest military strategists in a generation — earning him the nickname the ‘warrior scholar.’
He is wildly popular on both sides of the aisle. When Obama nominated him to lead the CIA, he passed senate confirmation with a 94-0 vote — a nearly unprecedented unanimous vote in the heavily-divided Congress.
Critics suggested promoting him to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the most powerful military officer in the nation, would have given him too large a podium — one where he could control military policy by threatening to make disagreements public…
FoxNews.com August 07, 2012
WaPo August 03, 2012
As the decision nears, Romney’s list of potential picks is, naturally, getting shorter as he narrows down the list to people who might actually be the one. In keeping with that list-shortening, we are trimming our Friday Veepstakes Line from 10 candidates to five.
In doing so, we are operating under the belief that while Romney could make a surprise choice — David Petraeus, anyone? — it seems increasingly likely that the Republican vice presidential nominee will be one of five people.
Tampa Bay Times – By Caitlin Johnston, August 28, 2012
… He’s uncovered court documents from a bankruptcy. He also unearthed a searing, 19-page child custody order from a Washington, D.C., superior court judge calling her out in 2011 for a lengthy “history of abusing the litigation process” and a “willingness to say anything, even under oath, to advance her own personal interests.”
In court documents, Cohen also claims that Khawam “fraudulently omitted Rolex watches, sable mink furs and a diamond ring” from a list of her assets in an April bankruptcy…