November 11th, 2012
10:42 AM ET
1 year 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. Ruticilla

    Candy Taylor, really, you're using this as an excuse to bash Republicans? What the heck does this have to do with the GOP 'getting over it'? It sounds to me like this representative is concerned if information is moving up the chain of command as it should. This doesn't strike me as political at all. You must think EVERYTHING a GOP member says is political. Don't worry about the GOP 'getting over it', try getting over yourself first.

    November 11, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. anna lee

    ⭕⭕🎯❌ I know what's next. The filthy GOP will try to impeach the President because the CIA chief cheated. Pathetic

    November 11, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. just sayin

    everything in the obama stinks and has stunk for 4 years. we used to have a press that actually reported on things instead of one owned by the democrats that ignored and covered everything up for them. the death of an independent press will be the death of the country. it has been turned into a democrat propaganda machine.

    November 11, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. freshnewblog

    This adds up to me. I see it today in modern society. Some groups of people take to hen pecking and they use societal popularity and norms to fuel their motivation. I kind of feel bad for the guy now. I called The F.B.I. in Burlington, Vermont back in 2006 about a female friend of mine who says that she was taped by three police officers in my community in their station. I left a message on their phone at night. No one ever called me back. Yet they spent years chasing some man around about his personal love life?

    November 11, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. D9

    This is obviously a guy building a fire just to say there is smoke.

    November 11, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. Jack

    It's Obama's fault that Petraeus screwed around on his wife. Obama covered it up. That's the reason Petraeus resigned.

    /sarcasm

    November 11, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. PhilOhio

    Candy Taylor, I do believe if you read the article, you would find the "GOP" was actually saying President Obama should have been notified much sooner than election night, in a four month investigation into the top post of the CIA.

    Read, comprehend.

    November 11, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. lawrencewinkler

    We now hear that Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader, was aware weeks ago and had spoken to the whistleblower herself. Rep King is correct that there seems to be a problem but the investigation needs to include Cantor's involvement.

    November 11, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. fangers

    Those trying to politicize this need to wake up – the intelligence committe is informed of issues much less substantial than this. Dem Feinstein is also saying the committee needs to look into why they weren't informed, but folks here ignore that – it spoils their little rants.

    And its not an attack on the man, the real potential issue is this – was Broadwell using the relationship to get information, perhaps to sell?

    November 11, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. Linell, Winter Park, FL

    Oh, Mr. King, there you go again. Check with Mr. Cantor. See if you two can't cook up some kind of reason for impeachment and keep everyone's mind off the fact that you are still refusing to take care of the people's business....that's what the GOP did when they were defeated by Clinton's second term. Take a look at how many attacks there were on embassies during the Bush terms, and how many people were killed or injured. Can you spell hypocritical without the aid of spellcheck?

    November 11, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. BelladonnaCove

    An investigation takes some time . Before accusing someone you have to have solid proof - hence the time it took to uncover this.
    The timing is a bit odd; since Petraeus was a week away from testifying about Benghazi. Even if there was wrongdoing about the Benghazi incident; it's not like they can impeach Obama - he's untouchable now that he's already had four stellar years of presidency.
    As far as Petraeus –he's just a man who is a total loser who wasted his life away doing nothing of importance.

    November 11, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. GaryOwen27

    Well King, you were one of the scum bags asleep at the wheel on 9/11/01. Your credability is ZERO.

    November 11, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    @Katie: "I'm not sure which is worse – the fact that such behavior is not at all uncommon or the fact the military perpetuates this myth of moral behavior as part of its code."

    I share your frustration, but immoral behavior is found in all walks of life, unfortunately. There are plenty of military personnel who DO follow the code, however, and we need to not forget about them.

    I think behavior in general would be improved worldwide if everyone accepted this radical idea: The women are people, too, and deserve respect.

    November 11, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. ironwolf56

    Wasn't it lovely how the press kept mum about this whole thing until their messiah was re-elected?

    November 11, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Peace

    This is quite unbelievable. Instead of GOP thanking the General for his tireless service he did for the nation, they want to strangle him. If there was an affair, it was done and no more. The General doesn't insist to stay in his job, he has resigned. What more do these people want???

    November 11, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. Rezat

    He's damn right it doesn't add up. Here are a couple of questions:

    Are we supposed to believe that pursuit of director of CIA was a mere gold-digging by this girl?
    She just took advantage of general to make money out of a book? What explains the stupid
    All in" title?
    Or is someone trying to kick the general so out that he can't raise again in ages?
    Or was the whole approach was to influence the general in a ceratin direction.. like looking at
    the Iranian nuclear dossier a certain way and elevating the assessment?

    Did this have anything to do with General's postion on Israeli's occupation and the vicarious
    cost for the US?

    November 11, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. WhereIsPalin

    Stand in line.........just another conspiracy

    November 11, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  18. Tim

    Hmmm...investigations are for gaining information, knowledge, truth and understanding. Seems those are positive things. Now, if politics are involved...well...we did just vote for politicians to run our country so what is the surprise here? If you vote for one thing hoping for another chances wre you will get what you do not want.

    November 11, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. harry101

    Libs Never never question anything Obama does never. Only one truth should be allowed the truth told to MSM by the DNC. Any one else is just upset that they did not win. In the end for them its hand off all things Obama and CNN they thank you for the help and excuses.

    November 11, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    @justsaying: President Obama could cure cancer, establish peace in the Middle East and walk on water, and you'd still complain ...

    November 11, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. verkleiden

    anna lee. Remember' The buck stops here" You know nothing about the chain of command. No the "filthy" drones will give him a pass

    November 11, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Griff

    Maybe the affair was made up by government operatives for some mysterious reason. The affair doesn't sound logical for a man of his age.

    November 11, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. Mike

    Why would this have been made known? It seems like it was initially just the biographer that they were investigating. So what they should call the security committee in on any investigations related to anyone who ever wrote something about someone important? Wow. Also it sounds like it was Petraeus' choice to step down whether that is actually the case or it was just "suggested" to him that that would be best. Either way I'm sorry but unless he actually gives secrets up to his mistress or something (not just her snooping around and trying to hack, a wife could do that) where he goes to get his rocks off is no ones business. Puritans need to get back on the boat and keep sailing if they think they can insist on everyone obeying their chosen set of morals.

    November 11, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. jhoughton1

    Move along, folks. This is about a television channel that needs stuff to air that sounds exciting so they can sell advertising, and a semi-nutball politician who only gets noticed when he plays to the nutball base.

    Seriously. Petraeus compromised himself. Period. Next case.

    November 11, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. bill Davis

    Clinton got sa BJ in the Oval Office, Obama loves Gaylords, what is the problem,
    We have Weiners and Frank, we have the Dodds the kick back, the book sales...
    Another Dog and Pony show..

    November 11, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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