Petraeus to testify on Benghazi attack
Ex-CIA chief David Petraeus has agreed to testify to Congress about the attack on the US consulate in Libya that left four Americans dead, but it was not clear when lawmakers would hear from the retired four-star general, who abruptly resigned last week amid a sex scandal.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein said Mr Petraeus was willing to testify about the September 11th attack in Benghazi, but the timing had not yet been decided, a spokesman for the California Democrat said.
US lawmakers are demanding to know more about the timeline of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's probe into Petraeus' affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.
President Barack Obama today said no one has provided any evidence so far to indicate that classified information was disclosed as a result of the sex scandal that cost retired Mr Petraeus his job as head of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Mr Obama, speaking in his first formal press conference in eight months and his first since being re-elected last week, also said he is not supposed to meddle in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's probe of the Petraeus matter, and he will not prejudge the investigation's results.
"General Petraeus had an extraordinary career," Mr Obama said, but by Mr Petraeus' own assessment, the former top commander of US troops in Afghanistan no longer met the standards to keep running the CIA.
Representative Lamar Smith, the Texas Republican who heads the House Judiciary Committee, wrote the head of the FBI asking for both a timeline and whether Mr Petraeus is the focus of a criminal probe.
"Has the FBI concluded that General Petraeus is not the subject of any criminal or intelligence-related investigation?" Smith asked in the letter.
Earlier today, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, speaking in Perth, Australia, warned against jumping to conclusions over the actions of another military figure, Marine General John Allen, a day after placing him under investigation in connection with the Petraeus scandal.
Gen Allen, the top US commander in Afghanistan, who denies any wrongdoing, is being investigated for potentially inappropriate communications with a woman at the center of the Petraeus case, Jill Kelley, a Florida socialite.
Mr Panetta defended his decision to refer the case to the Pentagon's inspector general and for suspending Mr Allen's nomination to another top position in the US military, saying it was a prudent step "until we determine what the facts are."
"And we will," Mr Panetta told reporters at high-level talks in Perth, also attended by the top US military officer, General Martin Dempsey, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
At the same time, he praised Gen Allen's work commanding the Afghan war effort, a position he retains despite the probe.
"No one should leap to any conclusions here. General Allen is doing an excellent job at ISAF, in leading those forces," Mr Panetta said, referring to the NATO-led force in Afghanistan.