- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The White House is moving forward with Gen. John Allen’s nomination to become commander of NATO forces in Europe after the Pentagon cleared him of any wrongdoing in exchanging emails with a Florida woman linked to the sex scandal that brought down David Petraeus and forced him to resign as CIA director.

Mr. Allen’s nomination will now proceed to the Senate, and if confirmed, he would succeed Navy Adm. James Stavridis in the NATO position.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had put Gen. Allen’s nomination on hold after revelations about potentially inappropriate emails between Gen. Allen and Jill Kelley of Tampa, Fla., surfaced amid news that Mr. Petraeus had engaged in an extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. The FBI had uncovered the emails during its investigation into the Petraeus matter.

The Defense Department inspector general cleared Gen. Allen of any wrongdoing Tuesday. In a brief statement, Gen. Allen said he was pleased the Pentagon found that “the allegations against him were unsubstantiated” and that he “did not violate the requirement of exemplary conduct or the prohibition against conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday he hopes the Senate will now consider Mr. Allen’s nomination “in a timely manner.”

“That matter is now complete and we welcome its finding,” Mr. Carney said.