REPORT: FBI Viewed David Petraeus Affair as a Criminal Matter, Not Intelligence Breach

General David Petraeus

REPORT:  FBI Viewed David Petraeus Affair as a Criminal Matter, Not Intelligence Breach (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

Heads should be rolling over former CIA Director David Petraeus affair scandal after his resignation came out of left field. I wondered why the FBI didn’t notify the White House about the retired general’s affair with Paula Broadwell. Well, the FBI considered it a criminal matter, not one of intelligence.

The sources said agents followed department guidelines that generally bar sharing information about developing criminal investigations. The FBI is also aware of its history under former director J. Edgar Hoover of playing politics and digging into the lives of public figures. As one official said, the rules are designed to protect people (both private and elected officials) when negative information about them arises in the course of a criminal investigation that is not a crime.

The FBI’s focus was on whether laws were broken, in this case whether federal cyber-harassment statutes were violated. The sources emphasized that Petraeus himself was never the focus of the investigation, nor did it turn up evidence he broke any law.

The focus was on his biographer, Paula Broadwell, with whom he had the affair that ended with his resignation as CIA director last week.

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Janet Shan is a freelance journalist and managing editor of the Hinterland Gazette, who is working on her first novel, a mystery based in the hills on Montego Bay.