Prosecutors Urge Attorney General To Seek Felony Charges Against Gen. (Ret.) David Petraeus
The New York Times is reporting on its website this evening that Federal prosecutors have recommended bringing felony charges against retired General and former CIA Director, David Petraeus, for providing classified information to his former mistress — while serving as CIA Director. The decision on whether to prosecute, or not — apparently rests with Attorney General Eric Holder. According to New York Times reporters Eric Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo, “the Justice Department investigation stems from an affair Mr. Petraeus [who was CIA Director at the time], had with Paula Broadwell, an Army Reserve officer who was writing his biography; and, focuses on whether he gave her access to his CIA email account, and other highly classified information. FBI agents discovered classified information on her computer — after Mr. Petraeus resigned as CIA Director in 2012 when the affair became public,” the two journalists wrote.
“Mr. Petraeus, a retired four-star general, who served as commander of American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, has maintained he never provided classified information to Ms. Broadwell; and, has indicated to the Justice Department that he has no interest in a plea deal that would spare him an embarrassing trial. A lawyer for Mr. Petraeus, Robert Barrett, declined to comment to the paper today.
The Times indicates that Attorney General Holder “was expected to decide by the end of last year,” whether to indict the general; but, thus far has declined to give any indication of how he intends to decide or proceed with the legal process. The Times notes that “the protracted process has frustrated some Justice Department and FBI officials and investigators — who have questioned whether Mr. Petraeus has received special treatment…at a time when the Justice Department has led an unprecedented crackdown on government officials who reveal secrets to journalists.”
“The protracted process has also frustrated Petraeus’s friends and political allies, who say it is unfair to keep the matter hanging over his head. Senator John McCain, Republican from Arizona, wrote to Attorney General holder last month,” the Times indicates, “that the investigation had deprived the nation of wisdom from one of its most experienced experts. At this critical moment in our nation’s security” Senator McCain wrote, “Congress and the American people cannot afford to have his voice silenced, or curtailed by the shadow of a long-running, unresolved investigation…marked by leaks of anonymous sources.”
“Investigators,” apparently “concluded that whether or not,” Gen. Petraeus’s sharing of classified information with Ms. Broadwell “harmed national security, it amounted to a significant breach in the office of one of our nation’s most trusted intelligence leaders.” These same investigators/prosecutors, “recommended that Mr. Petraeus face charges, saying lower-ranking officials had been prosecuted for far less,” the New York Times noted.
I hope this isn’t the Justice Department run amok. Gen. Petraeus and Ms. Broadwell not doubt, have both already paid a high price for the affair and the public airing of their ‘dirty laundry.’ Do the ‘benefits’ of proceeding with a high-profile trial,’ outweigh the potential costs? V/R, RCP