Friends and former staff members of Petraeus told The Associated Press that he has assured them his relationship with Kelley was platonic, although Broadwell apparently saw her as a romantic rival. They said Petraeus was shocked to learn last summer of Broadwell’s emails to Kelley.
FBI agents who contacted Petraeus told him that sensitive, possibly classified documents related to Afghanistan were found on her computer, the general’s associates said. He assured investigators they did not come from him, and he mused to his associates that they were probably given to her on her reporting trips to Afghanistan by commanders she visited in the field there.
One associate also said Petraeus believes the documents described past operations and had already been declassified, although they might have still been marked “secret.”
Broadwell had high security clearances as part of her former job as a reserve Army major in military intelligence. But those clearances are only in effect when a soldier is on active duty, which she was not at the time she researched the Petraeus biography.
The FBI concluded there was no security breach.
But the criminal investigation continued into the emails to Kelley, including whether Petraeus had any hand in them. At that point in late summer, FBI Director Robert Mueller and eventually Attorney General Eric Holder were notified that agents had uncovered what appeared to be an extramarital affair involving Petraeus.
Broadwell and Petraeus have each been questioned by FBI agents twice in recent weeks, with both acknowledging the affair in separate interviews. The FBI’s most recent interviews with Broadwell and with Petraeus both occurred during the week of Oct. 29, days before the election, one of the law enforcement officials said. The FBI notified Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, of the investigation on Tuesday, Nov. 6 — Election Day.
There were at least a couple of members of Congress who heard inklings of the affair before the election. Republican Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington state received a tip from an FBI source that the CIA director was involved in an affair in late October. Reichert arranged for an associate of his source at the FBI to call House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Saturday, Oct. 27, according to Cantor spokesman Rory Cooper.
Cooper told The Associated Press Monday that Cantor notified the FBI’s chief of staff of the conversation but did not tell anyone else because he did not know whether the information from a person he didn’t know was credible.
“Two weeks ago, you don’t want to start spreading something you can’t confirm,” Cooper said.
The FBI responded by telling Cantor’s office that it could not confirm or deny an investigation, but assured the leader’s office it was acting to protect national security. Cooper said Cantor believed that if national security was affected, the FBI would, as obligated, inform the congressional intelligence committees and others, including House Speaker John Boehner.
The FBI agent who contacted Reichert was the same one who first received the allegations from Kelley, a federal law enforcement official said Monday night. That agent’s role in the case consisted simply of passing along information from Kelley to the FBI agents who conducted the investigation, but that agent was subsequently told by his superiors to steer clear of the case because they grew concerned that the agent had become obsessed with the investigation, the official said. The agent was a friend of Kelley and long before the case involving Petraeus got under way, the agent had sent Kelley shirtless photos of himself, according to this official.
Broadwell co-authored a biography titled “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus,” published in January. She wrote that she met Petraeus in the spring of 2006 while she was a graduate student at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and she ended up following him on multiple trips to Afghanistan as part of her research.View Entire Story
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