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Petraeus Affair: Lawmakers Want To Know Why They Weren't Told

Posted: November 12, 2012

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Tom Gjelten reporting on 'Morning Edition'

While FBI agents reportedly uncovered the CIA director's extramarital affair during the summer, no one outside the Justice Department was told until he resigned on Friday. Investigators did not think the affair had compromised national security, news outlets report.

David Petraeus, while he was the top commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, and Paula Broadwell in July 2011. He resigned from his post as CIA director because of an extramarital affair they had.

David Petraeus, while he was the top commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, and Paula Broadwell in July 2011. He resigned from his post as CIA director because of an extramarital affair they had. ISAF

Phase II of this story has begun:

"Lawmakers Want Probe Of Petraeus Investigation," is The Washington Post's main headline this morning in its followup on Friday's stunning news about the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus.

The married, retired four-star Army general, who had been in the CIA's top job for only about a year, stepped down because of — he said — his "extremely poor judgment ... engaging in an extramarital affair."

As the Post and other news outlets say today, now senior lawmakers in Congress are calling for an inquiry into the FBI's handling of the case. It was the FBI, as we reported over the weekend, that discovered Petraeus' affair with biographer Paula Broadwell during an investigation of threatening emails that she sent to another woman (a friend of Petraeus').

Among those wanting the FBI to explain why lawmakers weren't told before Friday about the Petraeus affair, is Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

According to The New York Times, "high-level officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department were notified in the late summer that FBI agents had uncovered what appeared to be an extramarital affair" involving Petraeus. "But law enforcement officials did not notify anyone outside the FBI or the Justice Department until last week because the investigation was incomplete and initial concerns about possible security breaches, which would demand more immediate action, did not appear to be justified, the officials said."

As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reported over the weekend, at first there was some concern that Petraeus' email account had been hacked: "During the course of the investigation, the agency found messages from Petraeus that it couldn't believe he would write, so the case was turned over to the FBI's national security division. Investigators thought Petraeus' email account was hacked — turns out it wasn't."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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