Officials may have known about Petraeus affair in the summer

Officials say the FBI and DOJ were notified of the Petraeus affair several months ago

By Jillian Rayfield
November 12, 2012 7:00PM (UTC)
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The FBI reportedly told high-level officials at the FBI and DOJ several months ago that they had learned of former CIA director David Petraeus' affair with his biographer.

The New York Times reports:

High-level officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department were notified in the late summer that F.B.I. agents had uncovered what appeared to be an extramarital affair involving the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, David H. Petraeus, government officials said Sunday.

But law enforcement officials did not notify anyone outside the F.B.I. 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.

“There are a lot of sensitivities in a case like this,” a senior law enforcement official told the Times. “There were hints of possible intelligence and security issues, but they were unproven. You constantly ask yourself, ‘What are the notification requirements? What are the privacy issues?’”


The FBI learned of the affair after investigating a series of harassing emails sent by Paula Broadwell, Petraeus' biographer, to another woman, yesterday identified as Jill Kelley. The AP reported that Kelley, of Tampa, Fla., is the State Department’s liaison to the military’s Joint Special Operations Command.

Jillian Rayfield

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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Afghanistan Cia David Petraeus Fbi Paula Broadwell