November 11th, 2012
10:42 AM ET
2 years ago

Lawmakers raise questions on how Petraeus affair was handled

(CNN) – The top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee said Sunday that the length of the FBI's investigation into David Petraeus' extramarital affair raises serious questions about the government's response to potentially comprised intelligence.

Rep. Peter King, who made the remarks on CNN's "State of the Union," joined Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in expressing concern over how the FBI and other federal agencies handled the investigation into the former CIA director’s affair, and specifically why members of Congress with oversight over intelligence and homeland security weren't briefed on the discoveries.

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"I have questions about the whole matter," Rep. Peter King told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley, pointing to reports that the White House first learned of the affair in a phone call from the FBI to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper at 5 p.m. on election night.

The FBI discovered Petraeus' affair during an investigation into a complaint that his biographer, Paula Broadwell, was sending harassing e-mails to another woman close to the retired four-star general, a U.S. official said Saturday.

During the investigation, other communications surfaced between Petraeus and Broadwell, a married mother of two, according to the official.

On Saturday, questions arose about why congressional leaders were not informed of the investigation immediately.

According to a congressional aide familiar with the matter, the House and Senate intelligence committees weren't informed that there was an FBI investigation into Petraeus until Friday.

Feinstein said on “Fox News Sunday” she wished intelligence officials had briefed her and other members of her committee earlier in their investigation.

“We received no advanced notice. It was like a lightning bolt,” Feinstein said, adding she thought the Petraeus affair was “something that could have had an effect on national security.”

“I think we should have been told,” the California Democrat said.

"It just doesn't add up," King, R-New York, said on CNN. "You have this type of investigation. The FBI investigating e-mails, the e-mails leading to the CIA director, and taking four months to find out that the CIA director was involved. I have real questions about this. I think a timeline has to be looked at and analyzed to see what happened."

The president should have been alerted far sooner if sensitive information had been compromised, King said, particularly since the investigation involved the nation's top intelligence chief.

"Obviously this was a matter involving a potential compromise of security, and the president should have been told about it at the earliest state. That's really all I'm saying."

The resignation also comes days before Petraeus was slated to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee about the September 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The attack, in which four Americans were killed, became a point of contention during the presidential campaign.

On Friday, King said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" that Petraeus is "an absolutely essential witness, maybe more than anybody else."

"David Petraeus testifying has nothing to do with whether or not he's still the CIA director, and I don't see how the CIA can say he's not going to testify," King said.

Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, dismissed any questions about the government's investigation into Petraeus' e-mails, saying he didn't "see a conspiracy behind every curtain."

"It seems that the chain of events is pretty clear," Menendez said on "State of the Union."


Filed under: David Petraeus • Dianne Feinstein • Peter King
soundoff (434 Responses)
  1. mcskadittle

    So you would go to your boss with information like this before you have all the facts? I don't think so, you complete your investigation and then go him

    November 11, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  2. vic , nashville ,tn

    “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor spoke to an FBI whistle-blower two weeks ago who accused then-CIA Director David Petraeus of having an extramarital affair”
    Politico reporting this

    Rep. Peter King , Republican parties is limping so don’t spin the story People like you and FOX news hurting the party

    November 11, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. mcskadittle

    to all republican congressmen: Barrack Obama won the election, can you please get over it and get back to your job

    November 11, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. jim

    This guy is trying hard to be the new McCarthy:

    November 11, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. plain&simple

    Must every suspicion be told to the president and when? He is just a human right? We need an all knowing entity to be president...let me know when you find one will you? Superman exists only in the comics.

    November 11, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. bluru40

    Menendez is from NJ, not NY.

    November 11, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. maf

    Representative King is yet another member of the legislative assembly that is "crying wolf" far too loudly! I appreciate that it is politics as usual for the Republicans, but they continue to throw tantrums at every little piece of news (sometimes, not even news but conspiracy, rumour, whatever. . .). This version of the GOP is really hard to take seriously. Maybe if they start to fix their own problems (filibuster, obstruction, NO), then their approval rating will rise and we can all be on a quicker path to recovery. Not everything is worthy of a sound bite.

    November 11, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  8. sick of republican phonies

    I guess the General's often- mentioned chances of a political future as a republican candidate are pretty much gone, huh?

    November 11, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. puzzled

    This Rep King is so incompetent. This Rep King should be working to help our economy and to help build our country. Rather this fool is once again hurling innuendos and unfounded accusations which were the cause of Republican's downfall in the election.

    November 11, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. lance corporal

    OMG!!! when will this political fighting stop and these people hired to do a job actually GET TO WORK on the business of the country.

    republcian party; WE ARE SICK OF THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 11, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. Jules

    Oh for pete's sake, here we go again. Just subpeona the guy and he has to testify.

    November 11, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. mean hateful Republicans

    Yet again the Republicans look for something that will divide the country. Attention Republicans time to work with the Democrats for the good of the country. Time to keep us from falling off the cliff.

    November 11, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. LasCrucen

    Security Violations, and that is one for both him and her, are to be reported immediately and, yes, even self reported. Would he have done any less were it a subourdinate?

    November 11, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. whys333

    I agree. It doesn't add up. In fact, I don't even know why I bothered to read this.

    November 11, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  15. Len

    GOP just can not get over the fact that you lost again. Why? They really do not care about all Americans (race, culture, etc.).......Final results: President Obama won Florida: Electoral votes 332 Romney 206. Popular vote: President Obama 51% Romney 48%......Democrats gained in the Senate 53 and 2 independents Gained in the house with 6 representatives still not decided.
    Get on board and lets us solve our problems for America and stop being Obstructionist!

    November 11, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  16. Robert

    The FBI discovered Petraeus' affair during an investigation into a complaint that his biographer, Paula Broadwell, was sending harassing e-mails to another woman close to the retired four-star general, a U.S. official said Saturday.

    Since when does the FBI investigate "threatening" emails?????

    November 11, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. Len

    If you read the WALL Street Journal, you will find the CIA was rresponsible for security in Lybia.....the general did not even greet the plane plane that brought in the bodies. He was at the movie opening of "Argo". Maybe he is at fault. (Two of the fallen were CIA agents). Now he does not have to testify in front of congress. You can look at this both ways....so please get off your high horses and support our President and do your jobs for all Americans!!

    November 11, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. John Tighe

    How often do you hear that King supported a terrorist organization in the past? I think he even raised money for it.
    IRA

    November 11, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. Linda

    Hey, Dems, I think you might be protesting a little too loudly? Where there's smoke.... If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen!

    November 11, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. m2d2usa

    Rep. King's charges don't ring true when the aide of Eric Cantor, the Minority Whip in the House was the one who notified FBI of the whistleblower after Cantor was informed by the Rep. from Washington. How much further in the House do you need to go than the Minority Whip? So it appears that at least three members of the House knew about the investigation. What are the chances that one of them didn't talk to the House chairs?? Seriously.

    November 11, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. Ben

    #benghazigate 7 hours of hell This is what is going on? The hearings need to be made public!! Demand it.

    November 11, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  22. Michelle

    Right before he is slated to testify about the cover up of Benghazi... how convenient! come on people, don't be so stupid!

    November 11, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  23. steven harnack

    Does anybody know of a big rock covered field to take this guy to so that he can look under each one until he finds something interesting? It would be a far better use of his time.

    November 11, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  24. maggie

    Ah yes, Peter King, the king of conspiracy theories.

    November 11, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  25. psflyr

    The concerns come from a top HHS politician. The same agency that is in charge of the TSA. Need I say more.

    November 11, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
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