Prosecutors recommend charges against General Petraeus
Department of Justice prosecutors are recommending that retired General David Petraeus be indicted for giving classified information to his lover, who was writing his biography.
The investigation stems from an affair Petraeus had with Paula Broadwell and whether or not he gave her access to his classified email account, among other charges.
F.B.I. agents discovered classified documents on her computer after Mr. Petraeus resigned from the C.I.A. in 2012 when the affair became public.
Mr. Petraeus, a retired four-star general who served as commander of American forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan, has said he never provided classified information to Ms. Broadwell, and has indicated to the Justice Department that he has no interest in a plea deal that would spare him an embarrassing trial. A lawyer for Mr. Petraeus, Robert B. Barnett, said Friday he had no comment.
The officials who said that charges had been recommended were briefed on the investigation but asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it.
Mr. Holder was expected to decide by the end of last year whether to bring charges against Mr. Petraeus, but he has not indicated how he plans to proceed. The delay has frustrated some Justice Department and F.B.I. officials and investigators who have questioned whether Mr. Petraeus has received special treatment at a time Mr. Holder has led a crackdown on government officials who reveal secrets to journalists.
The protracted process has also frustrated Mr. Petraeus’s friends and political allies, who say it is unfair to keep the matter hanging over his head. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, wrote to Mr. Holder last month that the investigation had deprived the nation of wisdom from one of its most experienced leaders.
“At this critical moment in our nation’s security,” he wrote, “Congress and the American people cannot afford to have his voice silenced or curtailed by the shadow of a long-running, unresolved investigation marked by leaks from anonymous sources.”
McCain's claim is dubious considering that President Obama could pick up the phone and call him anytime he chose. But the president did not seem very anxious to take the advice of his commanding general when he was on active duty so why worry about it?
Petraeus commanded our forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan, overseeing the surge in both countries and is generally credited with leaving Iraq in far better shape than when he took over. He was even mentioned in some circles as a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2012.
Now, humiliated and under a cloud, Petraeus' reputation has been tarnished by this vain affair - a sad end to the public career of a good soldier.