(WASHINGTON) — An FBI probe into emails sent by CIA director David Petraeus’ biographer, Paula Broadwell, uncovered intimate messages from the former general in her inbox, which led to Petraeus turning in his resignation, a senior official told ABC News.
On Friday, Petraeus resigned his position, citing personal reasons and an extramarital affair.
Sources familiar with the investigation tell ABC News that Petraeus was having an affair with Broadwell.
The news shocked officials in Washington. Petraeus was perhaps the military’s most respected general of his generation. He is seen as a problem-solver, and was entrusted with key roles by two presidents from different parties.
But the man whose most recent role was to safeguard the nation’s secrets turned out to have one of his own.
Petraeus’ extramarital affair was discovered by the FBI after concerns about inappropriate emails sent to people who are associated with him surfaced.
It was unclear what was in the emails or whether Petraeus was mentioned in them, a senior official told ABC News.
The emails were traced to Broadwell’s computer, where investigators found intimate emails from the CIA director and retired general, who has been married to his wife Holly for 38 years.
Petraeus, then working as a general in Afghanistan, spent a year in close quarters with Broadwell, a 40-year-old married mother of two who embedded with him to write his biography.
In February, when promoting her book, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, the West Point and Harvard-educated Broadwell told ABC News’ Christiane Amanpour she was able to learn more about what makes the four-star general tick.
“His father doled out what he called gruff love, so he was always working hard to keep his father happy and I think that’s reflected in his personality now,” she said. “It’s interesting to apply that on every one of his assignments, even looking at now, he’s trying to please this president.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire