Petraeus Affair: A Comprehensive Update
(WASHINGTON) — The upset that started out as Gen. David Petraeus’ surprise resignation from his post as CIA-Director has ballooned into a full-fledged scandal, implicating his successor general in Afghanistan, his biographer, the FBI, and a whole family of military supporters — not to mention further muddying the waters surrounding the investigation into the Obama administration’s handling of the deadly terror attack on the U.S. consulate and a CIA building in Benghazi.
Here’s a rundown of what ABC News has learned of late:
A Second Afghanistan General is Under Investigation
General John Allen, the commander of American forces in Afghanistan, came under investigation because of 20,000 to 30,000 emails and documents connecting him to Jill Kelley, the Tampa military enthusiast who received what she perceived as a harassing email from Petraeus’ biographer-turned-mistress, Paula Broadwell. A Defense Department official characterized some of those emails as “inappropriate” and “flirtatious,” but another official said they were mostly harmless, and there were likely no sordid interactions between Allen and Kelley.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday that President Obama stands by Gen. Allen. The president accepted Petraeus’ resignation last week, but he continues to have “faith” in Allen, Carney said.
Read more about the investigation of Gen. John Allen here.
Petraeus Personally Investigated Benghazi
In late October, Petraeus traveled to Libya to conduct his own review of the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
The Libya stop was part of a six nation trip to the region. Petraeus intended the review as a way to prepare for his upcoming testimony before Congress on Benghazi. After the scandal broke, the administration reports his testimony is on hold.
Read more about Petraeus’ involvement in Libya here.
Upset on the Hill
ABC’s Sunlen Miller reports that Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and other lawmakers say it’s “imperative” that Petraeus still give that testimony.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, expects the Senate will need to hear from Petraeus on the Libya attack “one way or another.” There’s whisperings he — and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who recently left on an overseas trip — could be subpoenaed if they don’t make themselves available.
Read more of what Petraeus’ upset means for the Senate here.
All About the Kelleys
Jill Kelley, 37, is a Tampa socialite who volunteered her time to support the military, planned and hosted charitable events and forged tight friendships with top brass. Her sister Natalie also became friendly with major players, including both Gen. Petraeus and Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, who wrote letters on her behalf as she battled her ex-husband for custody of her son.
Kelley’s social efforts on behalf of the military earned her the unpaid title of “honorary ambassador” to CENTCOM, the Defense Department’s Central Command, which is based in Tampa at MacDill Air Force Base and has responsibility for directing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
ABC News’ Steven Portnoy reports the special license plate designating Jill Kelley as an “Honorary Consul,” on her gray Mercedes Benz S500 is not just because she was considered CENTCOM’s “social ambassador.”
A staffer at the Embassy of Korea in Washington confirms that his government conferred “honorary consul” status upon Kelley in August of this year.
The job carries no official responsibilities, nor does it grant any immunities or even pay a stipend. It’s an honorary title, handed out to those who are willing to “assist” the nearest consulate with outreach. But with the status, and the documentation she was given, Kelley was able to obtain the special vanity plate. Florida Department of Highway Safety officials checked it out with the State Department and issued the plate in September.
Petraeus: The Sequel
ABC News has learned that Broadwell was working on a second biography of Petraeus.
Broadwell’s Law Firm Not New to High-Profile Scandal
The lawyer representing the woman who was the mistress of former CIA-director David Petraeus works for the same firm as the lawyer who represented Monica Lewinsky.
An assistant to Washington lawyer Robert F. Muse told ABC News that Muse is representing Broadwell and is a partner at the same firm as Jacob A. Stein, the man who was one half of the 2003 team for President Clinton’s famed mistress, Monica Lewinsky.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio