Diane Feinstein is outrageously outraged nobody told her. Seems a lot of people keep secrets in Washington these days. Sure, maybe people should have been told before the election, but it’s not like that would have made any difference.
The new accounts of the events that led to Mr. Petraeus’s sudden resignation on Friday shed light on the competing pressures facing F.B.I. agents who recognized the high stakes of any investigation involving the C.I.A. director but who were wary of exposing a private affair with no criminal or security implications. For the first time Sunday, the woman whose report of harassing e-mails led to the exposure of the affair was identified as Jill Kelley, 37, of Tampa, Fla.
Some members of Congress have protested the delay in being notified of the F.B.I.’s investigation of Mr. Petraeus until just after the presidential election. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and the chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that her committee would “absolutely” demand an explanation. An F.B.I. case involving the C.I.A. director “could have had an effect on national security,” she said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think we should have been told.”
But the bureau’s history would make the privacy question especially significant; in his decades-long reign as the F.B.I.’s first director, J. Edgar Hoover sometimes directed agents to spy improperly on the sex lives of public figures and then used the resulting information to pressure or blackmail them.
Law enforcement officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the investigation, defended the F.B.I.’s handling of the case. “There are a lot of sensitivities in a case like this,” said a senior law enforcement official. “There were hints of possible intelligence and security issues, but they were unproven. You constantly ask yourself, ‘What are the notification requirements? What are the privacy issues?’ ”
A close friend of the Petraeus family said Sunday that the intimate relationship between Mr. Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, began after he retired from the military last year and about two months after he started as C.I.A. director. It ended about four months ago, said the friend, who did not want to be identified while discussing personal matters. In a letter to the C.I.A. work force on Friday, Mr. Petraeus acknowledged having the affair. Ms. Broadwell has not responded to repeated requests for comment.
Under military regulations, adultery can be a crime. At the C.I.A., it can be a security issue, since it can make an intelligence officer vulnerable to blackmail, but it is not a crime.
Now the Petraeus testimony on Benghazi is on hold. How convenient for the Obama regime.
Update: Peter King is just a wee bit pissed off.
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Monday the FBI was “derelict in its duty” when it failed to tell the White House immediately after learning about former CIA director David Petraeus’ affair.
“Once the FBI realized that it was investigating the director of the CIA or the CIA director had come within its focus or its scope, I believe at that time they had an absolute obligation to tell the president,” King said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Not to protect David Petraeus, but to protect the president.”
“The fact is he is a key part of the president’s foreign policy team, maybe more than any other CIA director in recent times,” King added.
“He was going around the world negotiating various understandings and agreements, I’m aware of that. And to have someone out there in such a sensitive position who the FBI thought perhaps could have been compromised or was under the scope of an FBI investigation who may or may not have been having an affair at the time, that to me had to have been brought to the president or certainly to the National Security Council. If not, the FBI was derelict in its duty.”
“This is a crisis, I believe, of major proportions,” King added. “This is not the usual political thing. We’re not talking about the secretary of commerce or some undersecretary somewhere.”