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 (111 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    Mary, I agree with you wholeheartedly. My point is that many of the conservatives who are posting on here are out for blood, not for the truth. I agree that Petreus acted with an appalling lack of regard for the country's safety, and it can only be attributed to his hubris. I have never made an attempt to defend him or his actions. My only hope is that when the investigation is conducted, it is conducted in a professional manner designed to ferret out the truth, not for the benefit of scoring political points. I don't trust King or Issa or any of the other members of the political class to do that,since they have a long history of only scoring political points, not for finding out the truth. What I object to is the certainty that the FOX news bunch has been throwing out that there is something to hide: we don't know that until a real investigation is conducted by people who are not thinking about the next election cycle. Let the chips fall where they may.

    November 14, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. just sayin

    did diane feinstein fail to get the obama talking and marching orders? has she gone rogue? is she honestly threatening to do what is right by the country without regard for protecting an incompetent obama and his incompetent lackeys?

    if that is the case then she had better be prepared for the vicious personal attacks from the left that will surely come.

    November 14, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. Rick in OP

    Senator Feinstein,
    While your at it, have Hillary Clinton stop by. And Susan Rice. We have more than a few questions for the both of them.

    November 14, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Obama V2.0 even more incompetent than Obama V1.0

    Diane Feinstein might be the ONLY person in the Democrat Party worth voting for. Everybody else seems hell bent on protecting Obama at all costs to the country. One gets the feeling the Democrats would refuse to indict Obama is he was one film personally killing somebody. I'm sure they would all say the person in the film was Bush and not Obama. Our country is entering sme very dark places thanks to the Democrats.

    November 14, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    -just sayin

    did diane feinstein fail to get the obama talking and marching orders? has she gone rogue? is she honestly threatening to do what is right by the country without regard for protecting an incompetent obama and his incompetent lackeys?

    if that is the case then she had better be prepared for the vicious personal attacks from the left that will surely come.
    ************************************************
    Guessed you missed the memo from Bobby Jindall about the GOP needing to stop being " the party of stupid". You've re-affirmed that notion with just a few short words. We've always been wanting to do our jobs, its the GOP that insists on doing nothing.

    November 14, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. just sayin

    >The Real Tom Paine
    >We've always been wanting to do our jobs, its the GOP that insists on doing nothing.

    harry reid and a do-nothing senate for two years. no budget passed for 4 year sand counting while the country goes bankrupt. yeah, democrats doing their job alright. please give up the koolaide.

    November 14, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. Squigman

    This should not be an option. He either testifies, or forfeits all pension and benefits. Simple.

    November 14, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. Seattle Dem for Romney

    When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.
    Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

    November 14, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    He's already agreed to testify...wonder if the administration is holding their breath, to see if there is negative fall-out.

    November 14, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    -Ancient Texan

    He's already agreed to testify...wonder if the administration is holding their breath, to see if there is negative fall-out.
    ***********************
    And you're hoping there is, right? This is the tone that is killing our country.

    November 14, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    -just sayin

    >The Real Tom Paine
    >We've always been wanting to do our jobs, its the GOP that insists on doing nothing.

    harry reid and a do-nothing senate for two years. no budget passed for 4 year sand counting while the country goes bankrupt. yeah, democrats doing their job alright. please give up the koolaide.
    ****************************
    I take it you ignored the fact of the record number of filibusters the GOP threw at them? Please, nothing got done because the GOP wanted Obama to be a one-termer: how did that work out for you? People are ready to blame the GOp for the fiscal cliff if we go over, so I take it you hate the majority of the people in this country-oh, of course you do, righties "love" the country and hate everyone in it.

    November 14, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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