November 13th, 2012
02:52 PM ET
1 year ago

Feinstein says she'll push for Petraeus to testify

(CNN) – Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman, said she hopes to talk to Gen. David Petraeus and will urge him to testify on the Benghazi, Libya attacks as previously scheduled.

"I believe he will. I think he's a responsible person and I believe he will come. We are going to try to set that up today," she said in an interview to air Tuesday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

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Feinstein said the former CIA director's testimony is relevant because news of his extramarital affair broke after his recent trip to Libya, where he discussed the violence and other issues with the CIA station chief there.

In a separate interview with CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash, Feinstein said Tuesday the committee could call Petraeus to appear on Capitol Hill as early as Friday morning, adding that his lack of testimony would be a very big stone left unturned.

Feinstein told CNN that she and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the vice chairman of the committee, are meeting with Michael Morell, the acting director of the CIA who took over after Petraeus resigned Friday, and other intelligence officials as part of an "inquiry" into September's U.S. consulate attack in Libya that killed four Americans.

"(Petraeus) was actually in Benghazi, and actually spoke to people involved in the incident. I think that's important for us to hear," she said on "The Situation Room."

She later added: "There's only one way to ascertain (his trip), and that is to talk directly with Petraeus and do it in a classified setting with the committee present."

The California senator has been vocal in her disappointment of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its handling of the Petraeus scandal, as well as a second investigation involving Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and "potentially inappropriate" e-mails he exchanged with Jill Kelley, a friend of Petraeus.

Feinstein questioned why the FBI did not notify oversight committees in Congress about the investigations beforehand, given that classified information could be at risk.

"It's rather shocking to find out candidly that we weren't briefed and that we find out from the press in the way in which we did, with no heads up, with no opportunity to ask questions, or put together any information," she said. "So we have been coming from behind on this."

She continued: "I have many questions about the nature of the FBI investigation, how it was instituted, and we'll be asking those questions."

– Watch Feinstein's interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," starting at 4 p.m. ET.

Related: Sen. Collins: 'Imperative' Petraeus testify on Benghazi

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.


Filed under: David Petraeus • Dianne Feinstein • FBI • Libya • Senate • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. freedom

    @ ThinkAgain where's your timeline from 2008-2012? In case you haven't noticed – we've been living under the Obama admin for the last four years – although that might be short-lived after Patraeus testifies. We have listened to all of you whining and demonizing Bush long enough. And if the Bush years were so bad, then why did Obama even keep Patraeus on – from Bush's admin.? Why did he keep Gitmo open? Why did he keep many of Bush's policies? If you have such criticism for Bush – then it applies to Obama as well. Deal with the facts and stop being brainwashed.

    November 14, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  2. Disgusted

    You need to pull Obama up there to testify also. Very convenient that this came out AFTER the election.

    November 14, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. Elvis

    This article makes it sound like Petraeus has a choice whether to testify. Can't he be subpoenaed?

    November 14, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    Yolanda, my frustration and anger comes from watching the GOP that my father joined when he became a US citizen slowly but surely become a party of the lowest common denominator. Thank you for the support for my nephew as he goes to defend this great country. I sat at a Veteran's Day ceremony over the weekend as my daughter sang in the choir: I felt like I was in the company of heros, and it was exhilerating. Its so depressing to turn on the TV and be bombarded with people with short-sighted agendas screaming that the country is going to hell. I have never believed that, but I hate the tone: I have been affected by it at times, and I am not proud of it. The latest round of politicking does not leave me with the impression that we have a lot of leaders, but we certainly have a lot of people willing to secede, threaten and browbeat others. I wish our discourse were more civil, but its hard to overcome decades of stereotypes and remember the humanity in our political opposites. We need to try harder, thats' what I want us to do.

    November 14, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. Megamimi

    It is my understanding that the General will testify. Good on him, and lets hope he returns to the level of moral stamina he previously espoused.

    November 14, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. Paterial

    Just finished listening to Lindsey Graham talk about the terrible "National Security Debacle" in Libya. The worst National Security Debacle occurred on Bush's watch on September 11, 2001 when nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives. Some other notable scandals: Watergate (Nixon's watch) and Iran-Contra (Reagan's watch). The fact of the matter is that
    "stuff " happens and instead of blame our elected leaders should be working together to solve problems. After watching this news conference it appears that the Republican Party is going to stay their course of partisanship and finger pointing instead of cooperation and seeking solutions to our problems. Shame on them.

    November 14, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    Straight out of the Republican play book: act concerned and outraged while starting a witch hunt. Take the people's focus off you ( republican congress) not doing your job and focus on the democrat president.

    So can someone tell us how many of our tax dollars Ken Starr will waste this time ?

    November 14, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Woman In California

    The president has had many obstacles thrown his way for the last four years, and despite it all, he's handled them quite well. As a supporter, just listening to the amount of hate, conspiracies and obstacles thrown his way, I have no doubt he'll come out of this just fine and so will his administration.

    Secede or succeed it's your choice.

    November 14, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Now you figure it out?

    Come on Fienstein, why don' you ask the real troubling question... Why was Cantor informed about this before you? Could it be that Eric Cantor had something to do with this investigation in the first place? Is Eric Cantor the one who contacted the FBI in one of his witch hunts? I find it highly suspicious that Eric Cantor knew before anyone else in Washington.

    November 14, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  10. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    Paterial if the republicans REALLY were concerned about the people and this countries security Oliver North and George H. W. Bush should have been convicted of treason. Reagan at the least should have been impeached.

    If people ReALLY know their history they know that is true and not even close to being in doubt as that Iran-Contra scandal was ripe with corruption.

    But I expect a lot on the right to stick their head on that one. How ironic all that corruption is coming back to bite us in the butt in the form of Iran,Afghanistan and Al Queda. How you do think they got armed ? Wake up people and read some books. Know your history. We can thank Reagan and Bush for the Afghanistan,Iran and Al Queda.

    I fully expect CNN to block this comment. Can't be too truthful !

    November 14, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. Woman In California

    @ Paterial

    Graham was on The Daily Rundown on Monday and stated he owed it to the American people to find out what happened. Quite funny considering what happened on Bush's watch and after watching McCain's concession speech in 2008, and really believing he meant what he said, I competely ignored Willard's this time around, because I won't allow myself to be fooled twice. The reality is-they are a party of hate and nothing but hate and the only way they will ever be stopped, is to be shown the unemployment lines.

    November 14, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. streetdude66

    Can anyone explain if Petraeus is a bad husband why that would make him a traitor? Just sayin

    November 14, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. Reasonably

    He should testify. Resignation after the fact does not indemnify him from things occurring under his watch. He was the ranking director when the incident occurred and so should provide his information and perspective.

    We don't need another Scooter Libby.

    November 14, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Jean2

    Ask Eric Kantor he seem to be in on the ground floor of this scandel.

    November 14, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. just sayin

    so we know for sure that petraeus was compromised and endangered national security as a result.

    now, did fbi head muellar withhold information from holder and obama for months and endanger national security ? if so, fire muellar.

    then if fbi head muellar did not withhold information from holder but holder withheld information from obama for months and endangered national security? if so, fire holder.

    if neither withheld this information from obama and obama knew all along but still kept petraeus in the position for months after he was compromised then obama needs to be impeached for placing politics ahead of national security concerns.

    November 14, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. just sayin

    >streetdude66
    >Can anyone explain if Petraeus is a bad husband why that would make him a traitor? Just sayin

    already explained a thousand times. once anybody with security clearances compromises their integrity and opens themselves up to be blackmailed, they are incapable of continuing in that sensitive position. i know integrity and honesty mean very littel to liberals and democrats but it really is the basis for trusting people, especially with the nations most top level security secrets.

    November 14, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. Both sides are full of it

    Subpoena first; "arrange: things later.

    November 14, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. it must be said

    finally after 4 years of screw ups and disasters an obama adminstration scandal so big that even obamas sycophants in the press can't bury it or ignore it.

    November 14, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  19. Larry in Houston

    @BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX – You better watch Out ! Youre livin in Republican Territory !! LOL – - I was amazed that CNN ended up NOT blocking Your Comment !! LOL –

    And to : Woman in California – I wholeheartedly agree with You. Thanks for Your Comments !

    November 14, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. Energizer Bunny

    "The reality is-they are a party of hate and nothing but hate and the only way they will ever be stopped, is to be shown the unemployment lines."

    The name changers hate never ends. It just keeps on going; and going; and going.
    Chalk it up to sour grapes, two terms running.

    November 14, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    just sayin

    >streetdude66
    >Can anyone explain if Petraeus is a bad husband why that would make him a traitor? Just sayin

    already explained a thousand times. once anybody with security clearances compromises their integrity and opens themselves up to be blackmailed, they are incapable of continuing in that sensitive position. i know integrity and honesty mean very littel to liberals and democrats but it really is the basis for trusting people, especially with the nations most top level security secrets.

    **********************
    I find that a curious statement, given the fact that the GOP is run by the Flat-earthers and the Birthers who would not know the truth if it bit them in the hindquarters. How did their perception of reality play out last week?

    November 14, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. Reborn

    >The Real Tom Paine
    > find that a curious statement, given the fact that the GOP is run by the Flat-earthers and the Birthers who would not know the truth if it bit them in the hindquarters. How did their perception of reality play out last week?

    ***************************
    I fully support this idea about the GOP.

    November 14, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  23. Brian

    Partisan politics aside, he needs to testify. Not for the folks in DC, but for the American people. If there are issues, let's know about it now and fix the problems. If not, then we can move on. This partisan grandstanding has got to stop!

    November 14, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Mary

    "hopes to talk to Gen. David Petraeus and will urge him to testify on the Benghazi, Libya attacks " ???????
    What am I missing here???
    Urge him to testify?
    He was in charge. There should be no doubt that he will testify, if they have to bring him in in hand cuffs.
    Otherwise, it sounds like if you resign early enough, you're off the hook. Is that how it is supposed to work?

    November 14, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. amf140

    The General needs to sing like a bird and tell exactly what happened. This was Obama's 3 a.m. call and he didn't answer it. If there was one iota of politics in the decision not to rescue those Americans in Benghazi, the President needs to be held accountable. Problem is – our politicians do not understand accountability as an essential quality of leadership.

    November 14, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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