Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Former Commander of International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan Gen. Davis Petraeus, standing with his wife Holly, participates in an armed forces farewell tribute and retirement ceremony, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011, at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Official: Emails from paramour led to FBI probe
First Published Nov 10 2012 06:42 pm • Last Updated Nov 10 2012 07:36 pm

Washington » The scandal that brought down CIA Director David Petraeus started with harassing emails sent by his biographer and paramour, Paula Broadwell, to another woman, and eventually led the FBI to discover the affair, U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Saturday.

Petraeus quit Friday after acknowledging an extramarital relationship.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The official said the FBI investigation began several months ago with a complaint against Broadwell, a 40-year-old graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and an Army Reserve officer. That probe led agents to her email account, which uncovered the relationship with the 60-year-old retired four-star general, who earned acclaim for his leadership of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The identity of the other woman and her connection with Broadwell were not immediately known.

Concerned that the emails 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. The FBI approached the CIA director because his emails in the matter were in most instances sent from a personal account, not his CIA one.

Petraeus decided to quit, abruptly ending a high-profile career that might have culminated with a run for the presidency, a notion he was believed to be considering.

Petraeus handed his resignation letter to President Barack Obama on Thursday, stunning many in the White House, the CIA and Congress. The news broke in the media before the House and Senate intelligence committees were briefed, officials say.

By Friday evening, multiple officials identified Broadwell, who spent the better part of a year reporting on Petraeus’ time in Afghanistan.

Members of Congress said they want answers to questions about the affair that led to Petraeus’s resignation.

House intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and ranking member Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., will meet Wednesday with FBI deputy director Sean Joyce, and CIA acting director Michael Morell to ask questions, including how the investigation came about, according to a senior congressional staffer who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.


story continues below
story continues below

Petraeus has been married for 38 years to Holly Petraeus, the daughter of the West Point superintendent when he was a student at the New York school.

"He is truly remorseful about everything that’s happened," said Steve Boylan, a retired army officer and former Petraeus spokesman who spoke with the former general on Saturday. In a phone call with Boylan Saturday, Petraeus lamented the damage he’d done to his "wonderful family" and the hurt he’d caused his wife.

"He screwed up, he knows he screwed up, now he’s got to try to get past this with his family and heal," said Boylan.

Paula Broadwell interviewed the general and his close associates intensively for more than a year to produce the best-selling biography, "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus," which was written with Vernon Loeb, a Washington Post editor, and published in January. Since Petraeus’s resignation on Friday, the book jumped from a ranking on Amazon of 76,792 on Friday to 111 by mid-Saturday.

The CIA was not commenting on the identity of the woman with whom Petraeus was involved.

Broadwell, who is married with two young sons, has not responded to multiple emails and phone messages. Broadwell planned to celebrate her 40th birthday party in Washington this weekend, with many reporters invited. But her husband emailed guests to cancel the event late Friday.

CIA officers long had expressed concern about Broadwell’s unprecedented access to the director. She frequently visited the spy agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va., to meet Petraeus in his office, accompanied him on his punishing morning runs around the CIA grounds and often attended public functions as his guest, according to two former intelligence officials.

As a military intelligence officer in the Army Reserve, Broadwell had a high security clearance, which she mentioned at public events as one of the reasons she was well-suited to write Petraeus’s story.

But her access was unsettling to members of the secretive and compartmentalized intelligence agency, where husbands and wives often work in different divisions, but share nothing with each other when they come home because they don’t "need to know."

In one incident that caught the CIA staff by surprise, Broadwell posted a photograph on her Facebook page of Petraeus with actress Angelina Jolie, taken in his 7th floor office where only the official CIA photographer is permitted to take photos. Petraeus had apparently given Broadwell the photo just hours after it was taken.

Petraeus’ staff in Afghanistan similarly had been concerned about the time Broadwell spent with their boss on her multiple reporting visits to the war zone. Following standard military procedure with senior officers, they almost always had another staffer present when she met with him at his headquarters, though they did have some meetings alone. Military officers close to him insist the affair did not begin when he was in uniform.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.