- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Former CIA Director David Petraeus is still consulted by top officials in the Obama administration despite his guilty plea regarding the unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.

The retired four-star general’s reputation was tarnished when it was revealed in 2012 that his biographer and mistress, Paula Broadwell, was given access to eight binders of classified information. However, his advice is still sought by the White House regarding the strategy for fighting the Islamic State terror group, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

“He is, I think, legitimately regarded as an expert, when it comes to the security situation in Iraq. So I think it makes a lot of sense for senior administration officials to, on occasion, consult for him advice,” Earnest said Monday, The Associated Press reported.

The former CIA director is scheduled to receive his sentence in April, though his punishment is expected to be light. The misdemeanor count carries a possible sentence of up to a year in prison.

The plea deal struck by Mr. Petraeus has caused critics to accuse the White House of a double standard, citing former State Department contractor Stephen J. Kim’s 13-month sentence for giving Fox News classified information about North Korea.



“The decision to permit General Petraeus to plead guilty to a misdemeanor demonstrates more clearly than ever the profound double standard that applies when prosecuting so-called ‘leakers’ and those accused of disclosing classified information for their own purposes,” Mr. Kim’s lawyer Abbe D. Lowell wrote on March 6, The New York Times reported Monday.

Mr. Earnest said Monday that he was not aware of security precautions taken in consulting Mr. Petraeus in light of his legal situation, AP reported.

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