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FBI investigation of Petraeus continues

Jun. 25, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
David Petraeus
Former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus testifies in 2011 on Capitol Hill. (Cliff Owen / AP)
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The FBI continues to investigate former CIA Director David Petraeus, who was forced to resign after admitting last fall to an extramarital affair.

Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged the ongoing probe during a little-noticed exchange last month with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican and member of the House Judiciary Committee.

Robert Barnett, Petraeus’ lawyer, said he had no comment about the investigation.

Chaffetz pressed Holder on when President Obama was notified of the investigation and referred to a report in April by the Congressional Research Service about it.

The report notes dryly that an affair is not an “intelligence activity.” But the potential that the email account of the top spy at the CIA is. The affair came to light in November after Jill Kelley, the Tampa socialite and friend of Petraeus, complained to the FBI that she’d received threatening emails from Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’ biographer and mistress.

“While an extra-marital affair itself is not classified as an ‘intelligence activity,’ the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) originated with the possible hacking of Director Petraeus’ e-mail account, an act that had the potential of compromising national intelligence,” the report says.

Holder told Chaffetz that Obama was not immediately notified because the Justice Department does not share information about criminal investigations.

Then Chaffetz and Holder concluded with this exchange:

REP. CHAFFETZ: Is this an ongoing investigation?

ATTY GEN. HOLDER: It’s an ongoing investigation.

In April, USA TODAY reported that FBI agents had interviewed Petraeus at his home in Northern Virginia. That interview was part of an ongoing investigation into whether Broadwell had received classified information or whether those documents were kept in an unauthorized place, according to a federal law enforcement official.

Petraeus is emerging from a period of silence. In late May, the investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., announced that he would work for them as a consultant. Last week, Team Rubicon, a public-service venture involving veterans, announced that Petraeus had agreed to join its board of advisers.

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