November 12, 2012
US Congress Demands Inquiry Into Petraeus Resignation
Influential U.S. lawmakers are demanding more information about the FBI probe that led to last week's resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus.
Petraeus, who was sworn in as CIA director last year, stepped down from the spy agency Friday after it was revealed he had engaged in an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.
The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein, said she and her counterparts in the House of Representatives should have been informed about the FBI probe.
"This is something that could have had an effect on national security," said Feinstein. "I think we should have been told. There is a way to do it. And that is, just to inform the chair and the vice chairman of both committees, to... this has happened before, not with precise, same things, but, none of the four of us have ever breached that confidentiality."
Petraeus's relationship with Broadwell was uncovered after the FBI began looking into harassing emails sent by Broadwell to another woman identified as a friend of both Petraeus and his wife. The head of the House Homeland Security Committee, Republican Representative Peter King, also questioned the FBI's handling of the investigation.
"To me, if it was the FBI director who had the obligation to tell the president or the National Security Council at the earliest date. So it seems this has been going on for several months and, yet, now it appears that they're saying that the FBI didn't realize until Election Day that General Petraeus was involved," said King. "It just doesn't add up, that you have this type of investigation, the FBI investigating emails, the emails leading to the CIA director, and it taking four months to find out that the CIA director was involved."
Petraeus was scheduled to appear before Congress this week to testify about the September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that ended in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three colleagues.
Petraeus's deputy at the CIA, Michael Morell, has taken over as acting director of the agency. Morell will testify in place of Petraeus, but lawmakers say Petraeus may be summoned at a later date to discuss the Benghazi attack.
Petraeus is a retired high-ranking U.S. Army general praised for his command of U.S. forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and his approach toward fighting extremist elements in Iraq.