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The media has been having a field day since CIA director Gen. David Petraeus abruptly resigned his post Friday.
In a statement, Petraeus said he had shown “extremely poor judgment” by engaging in an extramarital affair with a woman the media later identified as his biographer, Paula Broadwell.
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Petraeus, 60, has been married for 38 years to Holly Petraeus, with whom he has two adult children. Broadwell, a 40-year-old graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and an Army Reserve officer, is married with two young sons.
Petraeus’ announcement left the cable news networks scrambling to make sense of the unexpected revelation.
“This is very painful,” MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell said on the air. “The personal and human drama here, the tragedy here of a life of public service and a life of valor, which has been cut short by his personal transgression, is pretty emotional and dramatic stuff.”
Here are five new developments uncovered by the media since the news broke:
The “other woman” named.
The affair was revealed by an FBI investigation into harassing emails sent by Broadwell to a second woman, whom a senior U.S. military official identified as Jill Kelley, the Associated Press reported. The 37-year-old, who lives in Tampa, Fla., serves as an unpaid social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, where the military’s Central Command and Special Operations Command are located. Staffers for Petraeus said Kelley and her husband were regular guests at events he held at Central Command headquarters. In a statement Sunday night, Kelley and her husband, Scott, said: “We and our family have been friends with Gen. Petraeus and his family for over five years. We respect his and his family’s privacy and want the same for us and our three children.”
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Members of Congress are seeking more details.
The AP reported that members of Congress said Sunday they want to know more about the FBI investigation. Their questions revolve around when the retired general popped up in the FBI inquiry, whether national security was compromised and why they weren’t told sooner. “We received no advanced notice. It was like a lightning bolt,” said Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Petraeus resigned three days after the director of national intelligence was informed of the investigation.
James Clapper was told by the Justice Department of the Petraeus investigation at about 5 p.m. on Election Day and then called Petraeus and urged him to resign, a senior U.S. intelligence official told the AP. FBI officials say the committees weren’t informed until Friday, one official said, because the matter started as a criminal investigation into the harassing emails sent by Broadwell to Kelley. Concerned that the emails he exchanged with Broadwell raised the possibility of a security breach, the FBI brought the matter up with Petraeus directly, according to the official. Petraeus decided to quit, though he was breaking no laws by having an affair, officials said.
The White House has been accused of covering up the scandal until after the election.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the circumstances of the FBI probe smacked of a cover-up. “It seems [he investigation] has been going on for several months, and yet now it appears that they’re saying that the FBI didn’t realize until Election Day that Gen. Petraeus was involved,” King said. “It just doesn’t add up.”
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The affair will be the subject of upcoming meetings in Washington.
Petraeus’ affair with Broadwell will be the subject of meetings Wednesday involving congressional intelligence committee leaders, FBI deputy director Sean Joyce and CIA deputy director Michael Morell. Petraeus had been scheduled to appear before the committees on Thursday to testify on what the CIA knew and what the agency told the White House before, during and after the attack in Benghazi. Republicans and some Democrats have questioned the U.S. response and protection of diplomats stationed overseas. Morell was expected to testify in place of Petraeus, and lawmakers said he should have the answers to their questions. But Feinstein and others didn’t rule out the possibility that Congress will compel Petraeus to testify about Benghazi at a later date, even though he has relinquished his job.
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