While they carried out their extramarital affair, ex-CIA Director David Petraeus and biographer Paula Broadwell had limited contact inside the Agency’s headquarters, a stark contrast from their relationship during the end of his military years where the biographer had extensive access to the then-four- star general at Pentagon facilities overseas.
The disclosure is likely to turn investigators’ focus inside the CIA to the question of what Petraeus’s security detail knew about his private contacts with his former lover.
Government officials familiar with the investigation tell the Washington Guardian that CIA security logs show Broadwell was cleared into the Agency’s headquarters just a handful of times after Petraeus became director in 2011. One source confirmed it was fewer than a half dozen times, while a second official said the number of entries was closer to two or three.
Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media about CIA security procedures.
That means Petraeus and Broadwell most likely carried out their affair by personal email and at private locations outside the Agency’s sprawling campus in Langley, Va., when the CIA director would have been accompanied only by his official security detail.
One question that FBI investigators and congressional oversight officials have posed is whether Petraeus’ security detail suspected an inappropriate relationship based on the number of private encounters they had and whether they ever expressed any concerns or helped facilitate any meetings between the two, the officials said.
One U.S. intelligence official said it is possible the post-mortem the CIA, Congress and others are conducting on how the affair was detected and disclosed could delve into the issue of whether the security detail aided, abetted or ignored signs of an affair.
CIA officials acknowledged late last week they have asked their internal watchdog, the inspector general, to examine whether Petraeus or anyone in the CIA’s employment acted inappropriately during the extramarital affair that sunk the director’s career. The official said that internal review was the most likely place for the questions about the security detail to be resolved.
Meanwhile, The Associated Press is reporting that Broadwell is telling friends she is devastated by the fallout from the scandal.
A person close to Broadwell told the wire service on Sunday that the former biographer deeply regrets the damage that’s been done to her family and everyone else’s, and she is trying to repair that and move forward. The friend spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
A group of friends and neighbors welcomed Broadwell, her husband, Scott, and their young sons back to their home in Charlotte, N.C., after Broadwell spent more than a week being hounded by media while staying at her brother’s home in Washington. The family friend said she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from her neighbors.
Broadwell is still being investigated by the FBI over classified documents found on her laptop and in her home, which investigators believe the author gathered while researching her biography of Petraeus in Afghanistan. Investigators say many of the documents are old and may no longer be classified despite their labels, and say Broadwell told them she did not get them from Petraeus.