Lawmakers: FBI waited too long to reveal Petraeus affair

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November 12, 2012, 5:49 pm
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(NECN/NBC News: Danielle Leigh) – There are new details on Monday in the fallout following the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus because of an extramarital affair.

Senior lawmakers say the FBI waited too long to tell them or the president about the investigation that ultimately exposed the affair.

The FBI says no laws were broken, but some lawmakers said Petraeus's affair left him compromised and could have threatened national security.

"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,” said U.S. Rep. Peter King.

Government officials said the investigation started out months ago as a potential case of cyber harassment. Jill Kelley, a friend of Petraeus, said she was receiving anonymous threatening emails.

The FBI traced those emails to Petraeus' biographer, Paula Broadwell -- and in the process, discovered she and Petraeus had had an affair.

A former spokesman for Petraeus said this of the affair: "The affair started approximately two months after he was in the CIA and it ended about four months ago."

According to officials, the FBI didn't report the incident to Petraeus' boss or Congress or the president until concluding its investigation last week.

The president accepted Petraeus' resignation Friday.

"It is very puzzling and I think was a mistake because this thing came so fast and hard and then it has been like peeling an onion,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein.

National security expert Roger Cressey is defending the FBI: “But once the FBI concluded there was no national security breach by the CIA director, there was really nothing there."

Cressey said he's more concerned about what happens next, as Congress investigates the attack in Benghazi, as of now, without testimony from Petraeus.

Acting director of the CIA Mike Morell will testify about Benghazi in Petraeus' place later this week, but Congress said that at some point it will likely call on the former four-star general to testify as well.

Tags: FBI, NECN, CIA, David Petraeus, danielle leigh
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