Women in Petraeus scandal had visited White House
After more than four hours, Petraeus left the Capitol much the way he entered and was seen departing in a two-vehicle motorcade. About 20 minutes later, The Associated Press photographed Petreaus entering his home — one of the only public images of him since he resigned.
In separate briefings with members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, Petraeus discussed the September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead. He did not discuss his adultery with Broadwell, except to say that he regretted his behavior and that his departure was unrelated to the deadly violence in Libya.
‘‘He was very clear his resignation was tied solely to his personal behavior,’’ said Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. ‘‘He was apologetic and regretful but still Gen. Petraeus.’’
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the chairwoman of the Senate committee, apologized to reporters and photographers for the stringent security.
‘‘I know that’s rankling you,’’ Feinstein said. ‘‘We didn’t want to make it any more difficult for him. And you know, you people aren’t always the easiest. So the blame is on us. Any waiting that you did, I apologize, but, you know, there’s a lot of suffering going on.’’
Feinstein said no senators asked Petraeus about the affair.
Petraeus, 60, publicly acknowledged last week that he had cheated on his wife of 38 years with Broadwell, 40. It wasn’t until Oct. 26 that Petraeus acknowledged the affair to FBI agents, during their only interview of him, a federal law enforcement official disclosed Friday. The official was not authorized to speak on the record about the ongoing case and requested anonymity for that reason.
The FBI began investigating the case against Broadwell last summer but didn’t notify the White House or Congress until after the election.
In the investigation, the FBI uncovered flirtatious emails between Allen and Kelley, both of them married. On Friday, two U.S. officials said investigators have found just a handful of the emails between Allen and Kelley to be potentially problematic. They said investigators determined the vast majority of the 20,000-plus pages of documents were routine. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation.
Obama has put a promotion nomination for Allen on hold. The Joint Chiefs of Staff are expected to meet next week to discuss the recent stumbles of two of the military’s top generals, said Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of U.S. Naval Operations. The joint chiefs want to review ethics, accountability and behavioral issues and determine whether senior officials are living up to the military’s standards, Greenert said Friday at the National Press Club.
The midlevel White House aide who hosted Kelley at the Executive Mansion had met her at MacDill Air Force Base, the White House official said.
Petraeus, in his first media interview since he resigned, told CNN this week that he had never given classified information to Broadwell. She has said she didn’t receive such material from Petraeus. But the FBI found a substantial number of classified documents on Broadwell’s computer and in her home, according to the law enforcement official, and is investigating how she got them. The Army has now suspended her security clearance.
The official outlined new details Friday of the timing of the FBI investigation that showed that agents spent the summer making certain no one had hacked into Petraeus’ computers to track his movements — a potential national security vulnerability raised by some of the first emails they saw in the case. They also used the summer to rule out any possibility he somehow participated in harassing Kelley by email.
Only after that, in early fall, Broadwell was interviewed for the first time by the FBI and agents searched her computers and found substantial amounts of classified documents, the law enforcement official said. The focus of the investigation shifted and agents spent most of October working with the Pentagon to determine where she got the documents, their significance and her right to have them.
Associated Press writers Kimberly Dozier and Eileen Sullivan contributed to this report. Also contributing: Nedra Pickler, Larry Margasak, Adam Goldman, Lolita C. Baldor, Pete Yost, Donna Cassata, Henry C. Jackson and Robert Burns.