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Probe of Kelley, Allen centers on 60 emails

Nov. 28, 2012 - 11:39AM   |   Last Updated: Nov. 28, 2012 - 11:39AM  |  
Jill Kelley leaves her home on Nov 12 in Tampa, Fla. Kelley is identified as the woman who allegedly received harassing emails from Gen. David Petraeus' paramour, Paula Broadwell. She also allegedly recieved "flirtatious" emails from Gen. John Allen, who oversees U.S. military operations in Afghanistan.
Jill Kelley leaves her home on Nov 12 in Tampa, Fla. Kelley is identified as the woman who allegedly received harassing emails from Gen. David Petraeus' paramour, Paula Broadwell. She also allegedly recieved "flirtatious" emails from Gen. John Allen, who oversees U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. (Chris O'Meara / The Associated Press)
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The Pentagon investigation into hundreds of email exchanges between Marine Gen. John Allen and Florida socialite Jill Kelley now centers on 60 to 70 emails that "bear a fair amount of scrutiny," a defense official tells The New York Times.

The report comes a day after Kelley's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, released emails, telephone recordings and other material that he and Kelley say prove she never tried to exploit her friendship with Allen or former CIA director David Petraeus. Lowell also wrote to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa, demanding to know why the name of his client and her husband were revealed to the news media in the first place.

The Pentagon investigation, which threatens Allen's pending appointment as NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, involves about 15 investigators working seven days a week but could take months to complete, the Times reports. The Times cites a defense official the newspaper says asked not to be named because of the sensitive nature of the inquiry.

The defense official tells the Times there is no evidence so far of security violations, but that half a dozen of the emails may be considered embarrassing.

Allen, who is in Afghanistan, is cooperating with the investigation and has denied wrongdoing. Still, the Times says investigators are trying to determine whether any emails violated Defense Department policy, government regulations or military law.

The emails were discovered by the FBI during an investigation of anonymous emails sent to Kelley warning her to stay away from Petraeus. The emails, it turned out, had been sent by Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell. That revelation led the retired four-star general to acknowledge a prior affair with Broadwell and resign his CIA post Nov. 9.

Allen and Petraeus met Kelley while stationed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, headquarters of the Central Command. The Times says the inquiry does not appear to have progressed to interviews with Allen, 58, who is married and the father of two, or Kelley, 37, the wife of a cancer surgeon and the mother of three.

In Lowell's letter to prosecutors, he says the Kelleys are being skewered in the media simply for relaying concerns to authorities about the "potentially threatening behavior" of others.

"You no doubt have seen the tremendous attention that the Kelleys have received in the media," Lowell wrote. "All they did to receive this attention was to let law enforcement know that they had been the subjects of inappropriate and potentially threatening behavior by someone else."

Lowell added that federal privacy laws could be applicable to the couple's information.

"These leaks most certainly had to come, at least in part, from government sources," Lowell said. "The earliest and best example of the leaks would be the release to the media of the names of my clients. As you know, there are several rules and laws that seek to protect United States citizens against such leaks."

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