CIA begins inquiry into Petraeus
The Central Intelligence Agency's inspector general has started an investigation into the general conduct of General David Petraeus, who resigned last week as the CIA's director after admitting to having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.
The inquiry will focus largely on whether Gen Petraeus used the trappings and perquisites of his position, including security details, private jets and special accommodations, to carry out the affair, a person familiar with the investigation said.
There is no evidence to suggest Gen Petraeus did so, said agency officials, who notified the House and Senate Intelligence committees of the matter in a letter. But given the extraordinary circumstances, agency officials thought it prudent to have the inspector general review Gen Petraeus' conduct.
"An investigation is exploratory and doesn't presuppose any particular outcome," said Preston Golson, a CIA spokesman.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr said last night that the FBI investigation into a cyberstalking case that revealed the affair concluded that emails Gen Petraeus and Ms Broadwell exchanged did not violate national security.
Speaking at a news conference in New Orleans to announce a settlement with the oil company BP, Mr Holder said the White House and Congress were not notified about Gen Petraeus' situation until last week because the national security concerns had been allayed.
"As we went through the investigation, we looked at the facts and tried to examine them as they developed," he said. "We felt very secure in the knowledge that a national security threat did not exist that warranted the sharing of that information with the White House or with the Hill."
The spotlight will turn to Gen Petraeus today, when he testifies in closed session to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees - not about his affair, though that may well come up, but mainly about the attacks on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Gen Petraeus gave his first interview since resigning, telling Kyra Phillips of CNN that he had never given classified information to Ms Broadwell and that his resignation had been solely because of their relationship. He said it had nothing to do with disagreements over the attack on the US mission and a CIA safe house in Benghazi.
Leading administration officials, meanwhile, met privately with lawmakers for a third straight day to explain how the Petraeus investigation was handled and explore its national security implications.
Among those appearing before the House and Senate Intelligence committees were James R Clapper Jr, the director of national intelligence; Michael J. Morell, the acting CIA director; and Sean Joyce, the deputy FBI director.