The Petraeus scandal is a series of events that garnered strong media attention when an extramarital affair between retired four-star general David Petraeus, then Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and Paula Broadwell became public information. Petraeus had chosen Broadwell to be his official biographer. She co-authored All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, his biography, when Petraeus was the International Security Assistance Force commander. On November 9, 2012, she was reported to have been involved in the extramarital affair with Petraeus that triggered his resignation as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency when it was discovered by the FBI.
- 1 Summary and chronology
- 2 People connected to the scandal
- 3 Reactions to the scandal
- 4 List of key U.S. officials dealing with the scandal
- 5 List of defense teams
- 6 See also
- 7 References
Summary and chronology
According to all media reports, the case was officially initiated by FBI agent Frederick W. Humphries II after he received a complaint about cyberstalking from Jill Kelley. Humphries reported it to his superiors and then to Republican congressional leaders Dave Reichert and Eric Cantor who then reported it to Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Robert Mueller after Humphries received complaints from Kelley that she was being stalked (the stalker was eventually found to be Paula Broadwell) on the grounds that: "They seem to know the comings and goings of a couple of generals." The subsequent cyber-stalking investigation by the FBI uncovered an extramarital affair between Petraeus and Broadwell. FBI agents also discovered that General John R. Allen exchanged sexually explicit e-mails with Jill Kelley.
- Broadwell, now a United States Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, first met Petraeus at Harvard University in 2006. Petraeus attained the rank of four-star general.
- Petraeus and Broadwell engaged in a secret extramarital affair—exactly when is not clear—after years of close contact as biographer (Broadwell) and subject (Petraeus).
- By the time Petraeus became Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in 2011, Broadwell had been working closely with him for years. She used nicknames for him such as "Dangerous Dave" and "Peaches".
- In May 2012, Jill Kelley filed a complaint with the FBI after receiving disturbing emails from a user identifying as "kelleypatrol". Kelley, her husband Scott, and her sister Natalie Khawam also happened to be friends of Petraeus and his wife Holly from the time they were stationed at CENTCOM in Tampa, Florida.
- Petraeus and Broadwell used fake names to create free webmail accounts exchanging messages without encryption tools. They would share an email account with one saving a message in the draft's folder and the other deleting it after reading it.
- The FBI, using electronic metadata that pinpointed the times, places and IP addresses, identified Paula Broadwell as the source of "kelleypatrol".
- FBI and intelligence agencies noted information about high ranking US military personnel and Petraeus and that some of the exchanges were "sexually charged".
- From the summer of 2012, FBI Director Robert Mueller and US Attorney General Eric Holder decided to withhold information until after the U.S. presidential election on November 6. It was two months before Mueller and Holder dispatched FBI Deputy Director Sean M. Joyce to notify the Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper late on November 6 about the discovery of the affair.
- Agents had confronted Broadwell on November 2, 2012. The report did not reach headquarters until November 5. Mueller and Holder reviewed it on November 6 (election day), and decided that it was time to inform Clapper.
- Forensic techniques that discovered Broadwell's identity and the affair with Petraeus also uncovered almost 30,000 pages of messages between Kelley and General John R. Allen, the US commander in Afghanistan. Allen denied an affair, but officials hinted that the emails raised "questions of impropriety". Allen's nomination as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander was put on hold.
- Doubt was cast on Kelley and her husband Scott's "Doctor Kelley Cancer Foundation" that did not spend its money on its missions. Kelley's access as a social liaison to military bases was cancelled.
- Media focused on the Kelley-Khawam families and found that both Generals Petraeus and Allen had intervened on behalf of Natalie Khawam (Wolfe), the twin sister of Jill (Khawam) Kelley, in a civilian child custody dispute by writing to Superior Court of the District of Columbia Judge Neal Kravitz who found that Khawam had "misrepresented virtually everything" while Petraeus and Allen said she was "an honorable, loving and reliable mother" which Judge Kravitz ignored as he awarded custody to Khawam's ex-husband Grayson Wolfe.
- FBI agent Humphries, who was allegedly the one who had initially taken Kelley's case to FBI's field office in Tampa, Florida, also had a personal friendship with Kelley that included sending her shirtless photos of himself. Humphries repeatedly intervened to advance the case to which he was not assigned. In late October 2012 he phoned two US House of Representatives, Republicans Dave Reichert and Eric Cantor, that he believed the US Department of Justice was covering up the case. Humphries became the subject of an ethics probe by the Office of Professional Responsibility.
- On November 7, 2012, James R. Clapper, Director of the US National Intelligence Agency, informed Thomas E. Donilon, the US National Security Advisor, about the Petraeus affair. The United States Department of Justice also informed the White House Counsel, about General Allen's correspondence with Jill Kelley.
- On November 7, 2012, Petraeus tendered his resignation as CIA chief to President Obama, per directive from James Clapper. (source: CBS News, 11-11-12)
- On November 9, 2012, Petraeus resigned as Director of the CIA after admitting having a sexual relationship with his biographer.
- On April 23, 2015, Petraeus pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified materials. He was given a two year probationary period and a fine of $100,000.
People connected to the scandal
David Petraeus (born November 7, 1952) is an American former military officer and public official. He served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency from September 6, 2011, until his resignation on November 9, 2012. CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell replaced Director Petraeus in his duties, serving as Acting Director. Petraeus, prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA, was a four-star general with over 37 years' service in the United States Army.
Petraeus reportedly began an affair with Paula Broadwell, principal author of his biography, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, after Petraeus left his ISAF command on July 18, 2011 to become CIA director. Petraeus reportedly ended the affair in the summer of 2012, around the time that he learned that Broadwell had been sending harassing emails to a longstanding family friend of the Petraeuses, Jill Kelley.
Kelley, a Lebanese American socialite and volunteer social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa Bay, Florida, had approached an associate who worked for the FBI Tampa Field Office in the late spring about anonymous emails she considered threatening. The Bureau traced the emails to Broadwell and noted that Broadwell appeared to be exchanging intimate messages with an email account belonging to Petraeus, which instigated an investigation into whether that account had been hacked into or was someone posing as Petraeus.
In the wake of his resignation, Petraeus has hired influential attorney Robert B. Barnett to represent him. Barnett has represented many influential people including President Barack Obama and has served as a practice debate opponent for many Democratic Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates.
Paula Broadwell (born November 9, 1972) is a US Army Intelligence Officer, an American writer, academic, and anti-terrorism professional. She is the co-author with Vernon Loeb of the The New York Times Best Seller, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, a biography of then International Security Assistance Force commander David Petraeus. On November 9, 2012, she was reported to have been involved in the extramarital affair with Petraeus that triggered his resignation as Director of the CIA when it was discovered by the FBI.
In or about May 2012, Jill Kelley, a social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, began to receive anonymous emails which she considered to be threatening and harassing. She contacted the FBI, who traced the emails to Broadwell. The emails reportedly indicated that Broadwell suspected Kelley of starting an affair with General David Petraeus, who was a friend of Kelley's. Although the sending of the emails was deemed to be insufficient grounds for a criminal charge, the FBI called Broadwell in for questioning, at which time she admitted to the affair with Petraeus. After Broadwell turned over her computer, classified documents were found, which led to further FBI scrutiny of her relationship with Petraeus. Although Petraeus was not identified as the provider of the documents, the affair was revealed in early November 2012 and was cited by Petraeus as the reason for his resignation on November 9. On November 14, 2012, Broadwell was stripped of her clearances to access classified information.
As an officer in the US Army Reserve Broadwell has been suspended pending the outcome of the FBI investigation. She has cooperated with investigators in their effort to remove classified material in her possession. When the news of the scandal became public, Paula Broadwell spent time away from her husband and family secluded in Washington D.C. Her home in Charlotte, North Carolina, was searched by the FBI, all computers were removed, and some classified documents were found there. She returned home to be with her husband and children. The media has taken note of how Scott and Paula Broadwell have tried to get back to normal life.
Following the revelations about her relationship with Petraeus, Broadwell has retained the services of former Clinton Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers with the public relations firm The Glover Park Group. The founders of The Glover Park Group have previously served as officials in the Clinton White House and on the presidential campaign of former vice president Al Gore. The firm's services include public relations, advertising, marketing, government relations and policy counsel, crisis management and opinion research.
Jill Kelley (born Gilberte Khawam, June 3, 1975) is a Florida socialite who frequently entertained senior officers from nearby MacDill Air Force Base at her Tampa home. Kelley's family is Lebanese-American Maronite Catholic. Kelley's friendships with four star Generals David Petraeus and John R. Allen led to her becoming a key figure in the government investigations into the communications of the two men.
In May 2012, Kelley contacted a local FBI investigator whom she knew, Frederick W. Humphries II, to complain about being cyberstalked. This set off a chain of events that eventually led to Petraeus's resignation on November 9, 2012. The anonymous emailer was identified as Paula Broadwell, whom investigators discovered had been having an affair with Petraeus.
On November 13, 2012, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that General Allen's nomination for the post of Supreme Allied Commander Europe would be delayed while the investigation into Allen's extensive communications with Kelley was underway, though both Secretary Panetta and President Obama expressed their confidence in General Allen's ability to lead in his current post and noted that he has not been formally censured. Kelley was no longer permitted to enter MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.
In the wake of the scandal, Kelley is being represented by defense lawyer Abbe D. Lowell and crisis management expert Judy Smith. Lowell was Chief Minority Counsel to the Democrats in the House of Representatives during the unsuccessful opposition of the impeachment of Bill Clinton in the Lewinsky scandal. Smith is founder, president and CEO of Smith and Company. Smith and her firm advised Monica Lewinsky.
Natalie Khawam Wolfe (born June 3, 1975) is the identical twin sister of Jill Kelley and was reportedly also friends with both General David Petraeus and General John R. Allen. She was born in Beirut, Lebanon. She is a lawyer and was married to Grayson Wolfe, a former Bush administration official who directed Middle East initiatives and Iraqi reconstruction efforts at the Export-Import Bank.
According to White House sources, both Kelley and Khawam visited the White House three times from September to November 2012. The visits occurred after the FBI had begun investigating allegedly threatening and jealous emails Kelley said she received over her friendship with then-CIA Director Petraeus. Khawam had a relationship with Gerald Harrington, the vice chair of finance for John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. Rhode Island lobbyist and Democratic fundraiser Jerry (Gerald) Harrington gave a loan to Khawam for $300,000 that she defaulted on. Harrington had an "on-again off-again" relationship with Khawam and had extended her a large personal loan worth $300,000, according to her bankruptcy records. Harrington is a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and it was Harrington that gave Khawam access to events hosted by Senator John Kerry, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative Patrick J. Kennedy. Kelley and Khawam have also attended various fundraising events such as for Senator Marco Rubio.
Khawam filed for bankruptcy in April 2012 and listed $3.6 million in personal debt. Court records have revealed that Elizabeth Krowne, daughter of Dr. Clifford Krowne lent Khawam $250,000. Clifford Krowne is a physicist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. A few months after her sister Jill Kelley filed her FBI complaint, Khawam founded a corporation in Florida called Fullproof LLC with three business partners and Dr. Clifford Krowne is listed as a managing member. Krowne is an expert in military electromagnetic technology, one of the US military's most secretive programs.
Natalie lives with her twin sister Jill according to media reports. Both Natalie and Jill are friends with both Generals Petraeus and Allen.
Both Petraeus and Allen wrote letters of support for Khawam in the custody dispute concerning her son. The judge handling the custody battle took issue with Khawam's claims of domestic violence, calling them "patently incredible" and "obviously fabricated." In addition, the court papers reveal that Khawam had built relationships with Washington elite, including with U.S. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. According to Tampa police, both sisters called local police frequently between 2009 and 2012 to make various allegations.
John R. Allen
John R. Allen (born December 15, 1953) is a United States Marine Corps four-star general. On July 18, 2011, Allen assumed command of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) as Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A), succeeding Army General David Petraeus. He has been appointed NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, to take office in early 2013, pending confirmation by the United States Senate. On November 13, 2012, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that Allen's nomination for SACEUR would be "delayed." News agencies reported that Allen's communications with Jill Kelley, a Tampa woman who was friends with Allen's predecessor as top commander in Afghanistan, David Petraeus, were under investigation. Petraeus had resigned as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency four days earlier.
In November 2012, Allen became embroiled in an inappropriate communication investigation concerning his correspondences with Jill Kelley. According to the FBI, Allen had received anonymous e-mail messages, sent by someone identified as "kelleypatrol" (later found to be Paula Broadwell) advising him to stay away from Jill Kelley. Allen forwarded it to Kelley and they discussed a concern that someone was cyberstalking them.
As a result of his name emerging as part of the scandal, Allen is reported as being represented by military spokesmen as well as military defense lawyers from the chief defense counsel of the Marine Corps. The United States Marine Corps Judge Advocate Division is the United States Marine Corps's legal arm, and is subordinate to the Judge Advocate General of the Navy. The head of the Division is the Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) to the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC). Military attorneys (or judge advocates) in the Marine Corps work under the supervision of the SJA to the CMC to advise Marine commanders regarding legal issues. Colonel John G. Baker, the chief defense counsel of the Marine Corps has been speaking for Allen.
On January 22, 2013, General Allen was cleared in a misconduct inquiry.
Frederick W. Humphries II
Humphries had pursued Kelley’s cyberstalking complaint after he had reported it, even though he was not assigned to the case. He was admonished by supervisors who thought he was trying to improperly insert himself into the investigation when in late October 2012, fearing that the case was being stalled, he contacted Representative Dave Reichert, a Republican from Washington State, where Humphries had once been stationed, to inform him of the case. Reichert put him in touch with the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, who passed the message to FBI Director Robert Mueller.
Humphries was later barred from taking part in the investigation over concerns that he had become "obsessed" with the case. Officials discovered that he had once sent a shirtless photo of himself posing with dummies at a shooting range to Kelley, although Humphries later told The Seattle Times that dozens of other friends and acquaintances had also received the photo in a "joking" email sent in the fall of 2010, soon after Humphries had transferred to Tampa from Guantánamo Bay.
Humphries, a University of Tampa graduate, has had a notable FBI career. In December 1999, his familiarity with the French language allowed him to recognize the Algerian accented French of Ahmed Ressam. Skeptical of Ressam's claim to be French Canadian, Humphries had Ressam detained. The Algerian-born Ressam was later found guilty of conspiring to attack Los Angeles International Airport. The trial judge in the Ressam case, John C. Coughenour, praised Humphries' work and integrity. In May 2010 Humphries killed a retired Army Ranger at the MacDill Air Force Base main gate after the retiree brandished a knife and was said to have threatened the lives of base security officials and Humphries. The fatal shooting was later deemed to be justified.
Humphries is being represented by Lawrence Berger, the general counsel for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. Berger has stated that: "Humphries only received the information from Ms. Kelley and never played a role in the investigation...Humphries and his wife had been 'social friends with Ms. Kelley and her husband prior to the day she referred the matter to him.' 'They always socialized and corresponded,'...That picture was sent years before Ms. Kelley contacted him about this."
Dr. Scott Broadwell is the husband of Paula Broadwell. He is a radiologist in Charlotte, North Carolina. Scott Broadwell and his future wife Paula Kranz met in 2000 when they were both active duty US Army captains. He was then a physician and commander of the Mannheim military clinic in Germany. Paula Kranz was in military intelligence. They were married in Heidelberg Castle with Lt. Col. Ronald Leininger, a Protestant Army chaplain officiating.
When the news of the scandal became public, Paula Broadwell spent time away from her husband and family secluded in Washington D.C. Her home in Charlotte was searched by the FBI, all computers were removed, and some classified documents were found there. She returned home to be with her husband and children in Charlotte. The media has taken note of how Scott and Paula Broadwell have tried to get back to normal life.
Dr. Scott Kelley is the husband of Jill Kelley. He is an oncology surgeon in Tampa, Florida. Scott and Jill Kelley hosted social events attended by David and Holly Petraeus, becoming their friends.
Grayson P. Wolfe
Grayson Wolfe is the ex-husband of Natalie Khawam. Wolfe is an attorney and is a partner at Akkadian Private Ventures. He previously served as director of Broader Middle East Initiatives and Iraqi Reconstruction, and in 2002 he was appointed by President George W. Bush as a special assistant at the Export-Import Bank of the United States. In 2004 Wolfe served as manager of private sector development office of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq responsible for implementing initiatives to attract investment and financing to Iraqi companies.
Kathy (Katherine Glickert) Allen (born February 16, 1954) is the wife of General John R. Allen. They have two adult daughters, singer Bobbie Allen and Betty Allen Wightman. According to some reports Kathy Allen was supposedly good friends with Jill Kelley. However, the UK Daily Mail reported that Kathy Allen was unhappy about the close friendship between her husband and Jill Kelley and complained to the wife of the civil liaison officer at Central Command in Tampa concerning the emails her husband was receiving from Mrs. Kelley. Officials probing the links between General Allen and Jill Kelley claimed that there are between 20,000 to 30,000 pages that were examined by investigators and that the content of the emails were so explicit that they amounted to "phone sex".
Reactions to the scandal
The White House and Barack Obama
After being briefed on November 8, President Obama summoned Petraeus to the White House, where Petraeus offered his resignation. After taking some time to consider, Obama chose not to suspend Petraeus but accepted the resignation on November 9. Petraeus cited the affair when announcing that same day that he would be resigning as CIA Director.
In the days following Obama's re-election in November 2012, he had to face the ramifications of the Petraeus scandal. Media reported that angry congressional leaders are demanding answers about the Petraeus affair and "why they were given zero advance notice of the spymaster’s lively love life." An article in TIME probed "The Petraeus Affair: Why Was Obama Kept in the Dark?"
The CIA and intelligence community
Although US Attorney General Eric Holder was aware early on that the FBI had discovered an affair, it was not until November 6, 2012, that Petraeus' nominal superior, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, was advised. The same evening that Clapper was informed, Clapper called Petraeus and urged him to resign. Clapper notified the White House the next day, November 7.
The FBI and law enforcement
Officials say the FBI knew of Petraeus' affair in the summer of 2012. According to an Associated Press report, rather than sending emails to each other's inbox which would have left a more obvious email trail, messages were left in a draft folder which were then read when the other person logged into the same account.
Although the Tampa FBI agent familiar with Kelley, Fred Humphries, was not put on the case as he was not part of the cybersquad, the agent was said to have become obsessed with the investigation. After being instructed by his superiors to steer clear of the case, Humphries reportedly became convinced that the investigation had been stalled because of a politically motivated desire to protect U.S. President Barack Obama. The agent then contacted Republican Congressman Dave Reichert, and was able to relay information to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Cantor's office raised the matter with FBI Director Robert Mueller on October 31.
After news of the affair between Petraeus and Broadwell broke, several members of Congress stated that they felt they should have been informed about the FBI investigation earlier.
On November 13, it emerged that Kelley had a connection to General John R. Allen, Petraeus' successor as top commander in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Panetta, Petraeus' predecessor at the CIA, said that Allen's nomination for Supreme Allied Commander Europe would be "delayed." News agencies reported that Allen's communications with Kelley were under investigation.
Former colleagues and acquaintances
James Marks, retired General and CNN military analyst thinks the scandal is mainly a personal tragedy for the involved parties. Broadwell worked for Marks and therefore, unlike many others, Marks was not surprised that Broadwell was able to gain access to Petraeus’ inner-circle. Petraeus had tested Broadwell by going on a long run, a test Broadwell was able to pass, eventually leading Petraeus to let his guard down. On a security level, Marks sees no significant problems. As to the motives for Petraeus to get involved in the relationship, Marks feels that the departure from the military may have played a role.
Peter Mansoor, retired colonel, executive officer and friend to Petraeus, in an interview discussed his view and Petraeus' reaction to the scandal. Mansoor recalled that during their first meeting Broadwell struck him as confident, physically fit and ambitious. However, he was also surprised that Petraeus let Broadwell into his inner-circle despite existing rules of no embeds and personality profiling. He later said that Petraeus told him that he "screwed up big time". Mansoor speculates that Petraeus may have stayed at the CIA position should the scandal not have come out.
Jack Keane, a former general who supported Petraeus during his takeover as commander of the allied forces in Iraq, expressed sadness over the situation. He felt that the accomplishments of Petraeus would be forgotten.
List of key U.S. officials dealing with the scandal
- FBI Special Agent Frederick Humphries II
- FBI Director Robert Mueller
- Attorney General Eric Holder
- FBI Deputy Director Sean M. Joyce
- Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper
- Representative Dave Reichert
- Former Representative Eric Cantor
- National Security Advisor Thomas E. Donilon
- Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
- U.S. President Barack Obama
List of defense teams
- Robert B. Barnett representing David Petraeus.
- Dee Dee Myers and The Glover Park Group representing Paula Broadwell.
- Abbe D. Lowell representing Jill Kelley.
- Gloria Allred representing Natalie Khawam Wolfe.
- John G. Baker, chief defense counsel of the Marine Corps and the Defense counsel of the Marine Corps representing John R. Allen.
- Lawrence Berger, general counsel for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association representing Frederick Humphries II.
- Honor code
- Lewinsky scandal
- List of federal political scandals in the United States
- Political scandal
- Sex scandal
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