Ex-CIA Chief Petraeus to plead guilty to sharing classified info with mistress

By Amy R. Connolly  |  Updated March 3, 2015 at 12:52 PM
Leer en Español
share with facebook
share with twitter
| License Photo

WASHINGTON, March 3 (UPI) -- Former CIA Director David Petraeus is expected to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information by sharing it with his mistress.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the deal with the Department of Justice allows Petraeus to avoid an embarrassing trial over whether he supplied his biographer Paula Broadwell with information while he was director of the CIA. The charge carries a maximum of one year in prison and possible fines.

Prosecutors allege Petraeus maintained "black books" that contained classified and unclassified notes while he was commander in Afghanistan. He delivered those books to a private Washington, D.C., home where he and Broadwell stayed in 2011 during a weeklong trip.

Court documents show Petraeus shared information that included names of covert officers and war strategy. The books also contained information about diplomatic discussions, intelligence capabilities and information about discussions with the president, documents said.

"The D.C. private residence was not approved for the storage of classified information,'' the documents state.

Robert Barnett, Petraeus's attorney, declined to comment on the plea.

The Justice Department released a statement after the agreement:

"Three documents -- a criminal information, a plea agreement and a statement of facts -- were filed today in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina's Charlotte Division in the case of United States v. David Howell Petraeus. The criminal information charges the defendant with one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material. ... The plea agreement and corresponding statement of facts, both signed by the defendant, indicate that he will plead guilty to the one-count criminal Information."

Petraeus was the most celebrated general in the post-9/11 era, leading troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. On Sept. 6, 2011, he was sworn in as the Central Intelligence Agency director. A little more than a year later, he resigned. While he originally cited personal reasons for his departure, he later admitted to the affair with Broadwell.

The FBI discovered the affair while investigating cyberstalking allegations made by one of Petraeus' friends, Jill Kelley.

Kelley told the FBI she was receiving harassing emails to stay away from Petraeus. Investigators determined the emails were being sent from Broadwell and also uncovered the affair and evidence that Petraeus had shared classified information with her. At the time, he acknowledged the affair but denied any criminal wrongdoing.

He now works for a private equities firm.

Trending Stories