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Excerpt: "Lawyers for David H. Petraeus have reached an agreement with federal prosecutors for the retired general and former CIA director to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge for mishandling classified materials."

David Petraeus. (photo: Getty Images)
David Petraeus. (photo: Getty Images)


Ex-CIA Chief Petraeus Pleads Guilty to Leaking Classified Info to Mistress; Gets Misdemeanor

By Adam Goldman and Sari Horwitz, The Washington Post

03 March 15

 

awyers for David H. Petraeus have reached an agreement with federal prosecutors for the retired general and former CIA director to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge for mishandling classified materials, a deal that brings an end to a lengthy investigation that kept him largely out of public view for more than two years.

The deal, if approved by a judge, will spare Petraeus a prison sentence and allow him to avoid a trial that probably would have revealed details of his relationship with his former mistress and biographer, who had been provided the highly sensitive documents.

As part of the agreement, Petraeus admitted improperly retaining a number of bound notebooks that contained classified information and giving them to the biographer, Paula Broadwell, according to documents filed Tuesday in federal court in Charlotte, N.C.

The documents also indicate that Petraeus initially lied to FBI investigators during an interview at CIA headquarters, telling them that he had never provided Broadwell with classified information.

“The statements were false,” according to federal court documents. “Defendant David Howell Petraeus then and there knew that he previously shared the black books with his biographer.”

Federal prosecutors will not seek prison time for the retired four-star general but instead will ask a judge to impose a probationary period of two years and make him pay a $40,000 fine. It is unclear whether Broadwell will face charges.

Prosecutors had pushed for charges after FBI agents discovered that Broadwell was in possession of sensitive documents while writing her book about him. The affair forced Petraeus’s resignation as CIA director in November 2012.

Attorneys for Petraeus and Broadwell declined to comment. News of a possible plea deal was first reported by the New York Times.

According to prosecutors, the black books in Petraeus’s possession dated to his time as top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. They contained information such as code words, war strategy, the identities of covert officers and outlined deliberative discussions with the National Security Council and President Obama.

Court documents indicate that Petraeus gave the books to Broadwell in late August 2011 while she was staying at a private residence in Washington. Several days later, Petraeus retrieved the books.

Although Broadwell used the notebooks to help her write the general’s memoir, prosecutors said her book, “All In,” did not contain classified information.

Two weeks after his resignation from the CIA, Petraeus signed documents assuring the agency he no longer had classified documents in his “possession, custody, or control.”

When FBI agents, however, raided Petraeus’s house in Arlington, Va., in April 2013, they seized the black books, which they found in an unlocked drawer in his study.

He had previously turned over classified documents collected during his tenure as head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan to a Pentagon historian but did not hand over the black books.

The FBI investigation into Petraeus began in 2012 after Broadwell sent threatening e-mails to Jill Kelley, a Florida woman who was an associate of Petraeus’s. Kelley, who did not know the identity of the sender, contacted the FBI, which later traced the messages to Broadwell.

In the course of their investigation into Broadwell, the FBI uncovered not only explicit e-mails between Broadwell and Petraeus but classified documents, prompting a probe into how she obtained them.

The handling of the Petraeus investigation has become a subject of intrigue in Washington, more than two years after he resigned from the CIA. In January, media reports that federal prosecutors had recommended that he face charges in the case prompted growing calls on Capitol Hill for a resolution to the case.

Petraeus now serves as chairman of the KKR Global Institute, a part of the private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and also spends his time teaching and giving speeches.

Petraeus is not the first former CIA director to face charges for mishandling classified information. In December 1996, then-Director John Deutch resigned after agency security officers discovered he had stored highly classified documents on his home computer that was connected to the Internet.

After a criminal investigation, Deutch agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and pay a $5,000 fine. But before the prosecutors could file the papers in federal court, President Bill Clinton pardoned him on his last day in office.

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-14 # ronnewmexico 2015-03-03 15:06
This about fits the crime. It was given not just to any reporter... but a ranking officer in the NG, who had top security clearence herself, a ex intelligence specialist, a grad of west point, and was in the field of antiterrorism as a civilian as well.. Notable is the mention of the Clinton pardon.

Him being participant in any torture which he likely had knowledge of and allowed…that is a seperate matter which certainly should be pursued, as it should all the way up …but that is not this.

This was really a minor offense as the fine to Deutch attests.
 
 
+10 # tedrey 2015-03-04 07:29
Ah yes, but as the Clinton impeachment shows, lying about it should be a far more indictable offense.
 
 
+8 # HowardMH 2015-03-04 11:04
I guess TOP SECRET isn't as TOP SECRET as it used to be 45 years ago. We were told misplacing any Top Secret document would get you many years in jail. Just leaving a TS Safe unlocked would get you busted if you were lucky. Now it is only a $40,000 fine for giving the information to someone who has NO NEED TO KNOW IT, and leaving the documents in an unlocked desk, 'AT HOME" !!!!!!!
 
 
-27 # chapdrum 2015-03-03 18:08
A misdemeanor - a well-deserved happy ending.
 
 
+10 # ronnewmexico 2015-03-03 18:28
The guy released information to someone just under his classification in the spy world of classification.

his career is ended and he is thoroughly discredited.

He should do time…but for torture….

this is petty stuff that probably happens at least weekly as there are 1 million or so with security clearance and peoples are bound to make mistakes. It is not releasing to the press a enemy agent but to someone in the field with top level security clearance. She is a officer as well currently.

We want this guy in jail for torture and confuse the two….they are not equal the charges.
 
 
+14 # Merlin 2015-03-04 03:06
ron
This doesn't bother you at all?

The documents also indicate that Petraeus initially lied to FBI investigators during an interview at CIA headquarters, telling them that he had never provided Broadwell with classified information.

“The statements were false,” according to federal court documents. “Defendant David Howell Petraeus then and there knew that he previously shared the black books with his biographer.”
 
 
+16 # ericlipps 2015-03-04 05:55
I find it deeply troubling that Petraeus got off with what was essentially a slap on the wrist.

Sharing highly classified documents with his mistress and lying about it to the FBI? If he were less politically connected, he'd be looking at a long prison term.
 
 
+7 # RLF 2015-03-04 07:11
A template for charges against Snowden? Ha! Ha!
 
 
+10 # fredboy 2015-03-04 08:44
Didn't realize taking and passing out secret documents and lying to investigators was only a petty crime with no jail time.

This conclusion could open a floodgate of similar activity for those anxious to profit from their access to such information.

Sort of weakens the terms "national defense" and "homeland security" doesn't it?
 
 
-13 # lnason@umassd.edu 2015-03-04 09:04
There have been many prosecutions for this crime over the years. Some people have been sent to jail but those with political connections tend to receive no jail sentences. The most memorable case was Sandy Berger, a former National Security Advisor, who was convicted because he stole classified documents from the archives (by stuffing them down his pants) in order, apparently, to keep them from the prying eyes of FOIA requests into some of President Clinton's foreign policy activities. Ms. Clinton subsequently hired Berger to work for her.

A supporter of such discrepancies in prosecutions and sentences might reasonably argue that the punishment should be related to the actual damage done by the leaks. Since Berger and Petraeus did not leak anything to anyone who used the information against American foreign policy interests, the sentencing seems reasonable.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
 
 
+5 # progressiveguy 2015-03-04 08:46
Obama will probably eventually pardon Petraeus.
Obama and McCaine (what a pair) used to kiss Patraeus's ass every time he appeared before the Senate. The slogan in those days was "will Patraeus betray us?" He did.
 
 
+15 # reiverpacific 2015-03-04 10:33
Oh come on!!!
So "Pitiful Traitorus" lied, leaked, descended into bedroom cronyism as head of the largest international spy/secrets operations/murd er agency in the world!
And he gets a wee slap on the wrist.
While Chelsea Manning is in jail, Snowden is in exile, Assange is under lockdown and 24/7 surveillance in the Ecuadorian embassy in London financed by Cameron/Clegg's "austerity" coalition and there are thousands of political prisoners in jail with long sentences in the "Homeland", beginning with Leonard Peltier.
This is a classical example of the old Scottish saying "The Deil aye looks efter his ain" (The Devil always takes care of his own).
And Clinton pardoned Deutch but ignored Peltier.
"Use every man after his desert, and who should ’scape whipping?".
 
 
-6 # ronnewmexico 2015-03-04 11:45
Well this is exactly it…the fault in the argument.
We on the left are calling for no penalty for Snowden Assange or Manning (rightfully so) but real real penalty for Petraeus.

Those on the right are calling for no penalty for Petraeus and big penalties of death and more for Assange Snowden and Manning.

How about some consistance Lee mentions it correctly….it is all about harm…did this harm the US…..in all four…..no not remotely nor by any reasonable standard.

REally we must step out of our ideological boxes. Laws are never inflexible things to be applied uniformly. They are always in charge prefered and in penalty adjudicated…..c ontext…what is the harm..that is the question.

So no on the left you are wrong on Petraeus and on the right wrong completely on Assange Snowden and Manning.,
We have too many people suffering penalty of all sorts in america having the most population by percent in jail than any other…this thinking of penalty….is the why of that thing.
WE on the left have to actually lead the charge in these things…. Less need ro be in jail and suffereng penalty…we are just way out of control in this penalty thing.

WE see it not in america in other nations…(you should see their jails they are like as not like dorm rooms)….it is clear we are in this situation like others..quite mad. The left needs not to suffer this madness….all four should suffer little penalty…

This whole standard of security is to prevent discussion anyway.Why their standard?
 
 
-3 # tedrey 2015-03-04 12:21
Total agreement. I (on the left) have been guilty of this above, as above.
 
 
-2 # ronnewmexico 2015-03-04 12:22
Do you on the left not realize….95% plus of security classified items are just security classified to protect defense and surveilence industry from public review???

REally you must add that to your qualification of harm by all four…..The three clearly showed that….it was to keep from our eyes these things so there was not political result…not harm to the US.

The whole thing is a sham..why should we on the left support it in any regard. A million people are paid to watch you every day…do you not know all they record..it is all classified and we are supporting this classification and secrecy….I am not.
 
 
+4 # Billsy 2015-03-04 14:09
Your supposition is incorrect. The point here is a gross double standard in prosecution of the law, that some people (Petraeus) are too important, like big banks, to prosecute, while the little fish can fry. I'm all for pardoning Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Petraeus, Kirakiou and other whistle blowers and ending the absurd multi-million dollar "house arrest" of Wikileak's Assange. The security deep state and its constitutional abuses needs to come to an end.
 
 
+1 # reiverpacific 2015-03-04 15:11
Quoting Billsy:
Your supposition is incorrect. The point here is a gross double standard in prosecution of the law, that some people (Petraeus) are too important, like big banks, to prosecute, while the little fish can fry. I'm all for pardoning Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Petraeus, Kirakiou and other whistle blowers and ending the absurd multi-million dollar "house arrest" of Wikileak's Assange. The security deep state and its constitutional abuses needs to come to an end.

Thank you; just the point I was TRYING to make.
 
 
-5 # ronnewmexico 2015-03-04 15:13
Really…why should I as a progressive support classification standards of any sort other than the most explicit (nuclear (homb making designs, sites of missiles and such)….

Why exactly? Is not information the root of our democracy and all this subtrafuge and nonsense of secrecy exactly counter to it?.

YOu do know of course the why of Snowden not having a fair trial is just that…the trial may not be open and fair as it has to be kept secret and secure, by force of law. It is to secret a matter for a open trial. AS we do not know how many are in military imprisonment by action of military with no due process…by exactly the same cause.. necessary secrecy.

So we may not know those specifics. You do know the how of support fot this surveilence state…. was prior to snowden exactly this….these matters could not be judicially reviewed as they were not admitted to, nor could be reviewed for reasons of secret classification.

Once more now….why should I as a progressive support any but the most basic of their classification of things???
Is not my support for any penalty to anyone other than in the most obvious and clear case of very reaL harm....a support fot that which is productive of the opposite of democracy…facism?

Can harm not be our only qualifier in this? How then do I free the three and retain this one?
 
 
+5 # Phillybuster 2015-03-04 13:30
Why is Petraeus considered a hero? He lost two wars.
 
 
+6 # ronnewmexico 2015-03-04 13:40
He enabled the rights various fantasies so they could put off reality a bit longer….the surge for instance…it was to solve Iraq…not.

So as he served to do that he holds a special place in their heart.
These things however were not wars since early on. They are now religious and class based struggles, not wars. One does not win those things through force of arms ever…peoples by one manner or another must be drawn to ones side to win those things. Military force is auxiliary to them.
 
 
+3 # reiverpacific 2015-03-04 15:18
Quoting Phillybuster:
Why is Petraeus considered a hero? He lost two wars.

'Cause the "Average" US citizen would kiss the bum of anything in a uniform, such is the inculcated, established military-worship.
Speaking of two wars, the chicken hawks that caused them are strutting about free and prospering, whilst thousands of the cannon fodder they lied into illegal invasion and conflict are dead, dismembered, going crazy, murdering their families, homeless or committing suicide daily.
For those of you who believed that his recent "punishment fit the crime", Petraeus was instrumental in all of this and is just as culpable as the rest of the war criminals.
 
 
+4 # ronnewmexico 2015-03-04 15:35
Petreaus had to know of torture black sites and all the rest, and as per Skhill and others….this is still a bit going on.

So guilty of that certainly…He should be held firmly accountable for his role in that, as should the rest.

this….secrecy... classification of materials..we are fighting the rights battle in this.
Their aim is for all government actions to be secret… much all done internationally so…so we commoners we are to dim to judge those things and then they may do as they want…not us.….

Secrecy classification. .these are not leftist values. Charges of that sort are their charges not ours.

Surveilence and secrecy classification of all that we do not need to know... these are the bread an butter of facist states not progressive states, nor democracies. To support them and their consequence by force of facist law…is to support facism….

Yes he is clearly one of them…to support them in this matter is to support that which is facism…secrecy and surveilence Surveliance, which is secrecies close brother. Who must be surveiled…. those who hold…secrets.

I will not support them in this. If we do not support a end to this thing of secrecy and surveilence in government…what do we as progressive stand for?

Is not this the heart of us…a open no secrets held.. and free of watching…democr atic electorate?
How can we decide things if so much is secret….and I should support ones prosecution who violates their cause…..no I will not.
Try him for torture…yes 100%….
 
 
+2 # ronnewmexico 2015-03-04 16:26
Glen Greewwald says this about Briitish journalists on a piece he has just written.."“Noth ing delights British former lefties more than an opportunity to defend power while pretending it is a brave stance in defence of a left liberal principle.”

I'd say it approximates former american lefties in this specific as well….who can be said to hold power…than those who would and can imprison for cause. And how can we stand against them if we so support their exercising of that power?
 
 
+4 # ktony 2015-03-05 13:49
Let us not forget Admiral Fallon's opinion of Petreaus:
http://www.ipsnews.net/2007/09/us-iraq-fallon-derided-petraeus-opposed-the-surge/
"WASHINGTON, Sep 12 2007 (IPS) - In sharp contrast to the lionisation of Gen. David Petraeus by members of the U.S. Congress during his testimony this week, Petraeus's superior, Admiral William Fallon, chief of the Central Command (CENTCOM), derided Petraeus as a sycophant during their first meeting in Baghdad last March, according to Pentagon sources familiar with reports of the meeting.

Fallon told Petraeus that he considered him to be "an ass-kissing little chickenshit" and added, "I hate people like that", the sources say. That remark reportedly came after Petraeus began the meeting by making remarks that Fallon interpreted as trying to ingratiate himself with a superior.

That extraordinarily contentious start of Fallon's mission to Baghdad led to more meetings marked by acute tension between the two commanders. Fallon went on develop his own alternative to Petraeus's recommendation for continued high levels of U.S. troops in Iraq during the summer.

The enmity between the two commanders became public knowledge when the Washington Post reported Sep. 9 on intense conflict within the administration over Iraq. The story quoted a senior official as saying that referring to "bad relations" between them is "the understatement of the century".

It seems that osculation of derrieres continues to pay off.
 
 
+2 # pietheyn07 2015-03-06 00:23
Wondered when someone would mention the Fallon/Petraeus exchange. Seems that we have another deja vu incident when when the military resort to playing politics; witness Douglas McArthur and Ollie North. Thank you.
 
 
0 # Kootenay Coyote 2015-03-12 13:30
Meanwhile, In Russia, Edward Snowden….& in prison, Chelsea Manning…it’s called Injustice, i think….
 

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