Petraeus story gets weird

An FBI agent investigating the woman who sparked the Paula Broadwell scandal allegedly sent her shirtless pics

Topics: CIA, FBI, David Petraeus, Paula Broadwell, Jill Kelley, Gen. John Allen, ,

New twists in the scandal surrounding David Petraeus’ affair with his biographer involve an unnamed FBI agent and Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, who are both accused of inappropriately sending messages to Jill Kelley.

Kelley was identified as the Tampa, Fla., woman to whom Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’ biographer, sent harassing emails, which sparked the FBI investigation that uncovered the affair.

But the FBI agent who initiated the probe is now under investigation himself by the Office of Professional Responsibility for reportedly becoming too personally involved in the case, the Wall Street Journal reports.

And how did he become too personally involved? He “allegedly sent shirtless photos of himself to a woman involved in the case prior to the investigation,” according to the Journal. The woman was Kelley, who was a personal friend of the agent.

From the Journal:

One official said the agent in question sent shirtless photos to Ms. Kelley well before the email investigation began, and FBI officials only became aware of them some time later. Eventually, supervisors told the agent he was to have nothing to do with the case, though he never had a formal role in the investigation, the official said.

After being barred from the case, the agent contacted Rep. David Reichert, R-Wash., because he was worried that the investigation would be kept quiet.

And then there’s Gen. John Allen, who was David Petraeus’ successor as the top allied commander in Afghanistan after Petraeus became CIA director in July 2011.

From the Washington Post:

According to a senior U.S. defense official, the FBI has uncovered between 20,000 and 30,000 documents — most of them e-mails — of “potentially inappropriate” communication between Allen and Jill Kelley, the 37-year-old Tampa woman whose report of harassment by a person who turned out to be Petraeus’s mistress ultimately led to Petraeus’s downfall.

In a statement today, Pentagon chief Leon Panetta said that the FBI had informed him of Allen’s involvement on Sunday, and the matter is now under review by the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Defense.

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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