Further Petraeus details emerge

Mon, Nov 12, 2012, 00:00

Further details have emerged about the extramarital affair that abruptly ended the career of CIA chief David Petraeus, including the identity of a second woman whose complaints about harassing emails from the woman with whom he had the relationship, Paula Broadwell, prompted an FBI investigation.

A person familiar with the investigation identified the second woman as Jill Kelley, a long-time friend of the Petraeus family and a Tampa, Florida volunteer social liaison with military families at MacDill Air Force Base.

Ms Kelley went to the FBI after receiving threatening emails that eventually were traced to Ms Broadwell, law enforcement and security officials have said, prompting an investigation that turned up evidence that Petraeus and Broadwell were having an extramarital affair.

"We and our family have been friends with General 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," Ms Kelley said in a statement obtained by ABC News.

Ms Broadwell has not been available for comment and both the FBI and CIA have declined public comment on the matter.

Gen Petraeus has made no public comment since he announced his resignation on Friday.

The affair has raised questions about whether US national security was ever at risk and over the timing of law enforcement and intelligence officials' revelation of the matter to the White House, as well as over who knew about the investigation before last week's presidential election.

A former spokesman for Gen Petraeus during his time as an army general has said the affair with Ms Broadwell, an Army reserve officer who co-authored a glowing biography of him, began after Gen Petraeus retired from the army in August 2011 to lead the spy agency and ended four months ago by mutual consent.

Retired Col Steven Boylan, who was Gen Petraeus's spokesman in Iraq and has spoken to the general since he resigned at the CIA, downplayed the question of whether US security had been at risk. He said Gen Petraeus never gave Ms Broadwell classified information or communicated with her via his government email.

"My understanding is that she was only at the CIA twice. And at no time, based on conversations with him, did he provide her classified information, nor did she receive anything from him in that manner," Col Boylan said in an interview.

"My understanding is that they mutually determined that it was time to end it," he said, adding that Gen Petraeus "knows he made a huge mistake" and is now trying to focus on his family.

"It wasn't right. And it was done. That was about four months ago."

Col Boylan said the retired general’s affair started after Gen Petraeus left the army. He told ABC’s Good Morning America show that Gen Petraeus’s wife of 38 years, Holly, was “furious” over the matter.

Col Boylan also said the affair with Ms Broadwell ended four months ago. Gen Petraeus acknowledged the affair in a letter to CIA staff. He said Mrs Petraeus “is not exactly pleased right now. Furious would be an understatement.”

Col Boylan said he spoke to Gen Petraeus over the weekend, who he said was “devastated”. He added: “it’s going to take a long time” for him to set things straight at home.

Reuters/AP