WASHINGTON (AP) — Ex-CIA director David Petraeus has told friends he was shocked to find that his biographer and girlfriend, Paula Broadwell, was suspected of sending anonymous, threatening emails to a Petraeus friend she saw as a romantic rival.
A close Petraeus associate said Monday that FBI investigators told Petraeus that Broadwell sent anonymous emails to Jill Kelley, a Petraeus family friend from his time at Central Command in Tampa, warning her to stay away from him. The Petraeus associate spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential conversations with Petraeus. The CIA director resigned last week after confessing to the affair.
Petraeus was not shown the emails, but was told the tone and content seemed threatening to Kelley, prompting her to report them, the close Petraeus associate said. That triggered the investigation that led the FBI to Broadwell and evidence of her affair with Petraeus.
The affair began in 2011, two months after he became CIA director, a friend and former top aide said Monday. The case has sparked an uproar in Congress over FBI investigative tactics and complaints by lawmakers they weren't told soon enough about the probe rocking the intelligence and law enforcement establishment.
Petraeus, who resigned last week as the nation's head spy, and his family are said to be devastated over the affair, especially his wife Holly, who "is not exactly pleased right now," said Steve Boylan, a friend and former Petraeus spokesman who spoke to Petraeus over the weekend. "Furious would be an understatement," Boylan told ABC's "Good Morning America." He said Petraeus ended the affair four months ago.
Members of Congress said they want to know more details about the FBI investigation that revealed the extramarital affair between Petraeus and Broadwell. They questioned when the retired general popped up in the FBI inquiry, whether national security was compromised and why they weren't told sooner.
Petraeus, 60, quit Friday after acknowledging the affair. He has been married 38 years to Holly Petraeus, with whom he has two adult children, including a son who led an infantry platoon in Afghanistan as an Army lieutenant.
Broadwell, a 40-year-old graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and an Army Reserve officer, is married with two young sons.
According to a senior U.S. military official, Kelley, 37, who lives in Tampa, Fla., and serves as an unpaid social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, where the military's Central Command and Special Operations Command are located. Staffers for Petraeus said Kelley and her husband were regular guests at events he held at Central Command headquarters.
A U.S. official said the coalition countries represented at Central Command gave Kelley an appreciation certificate on which she was referred to as an "honorary ambassador" to the coalition, but she has no official status and is not employed by the U.S. government.
In a statement Sunday, Kelley and her husband, Scott, said: "We and our family have been friends with Gen. Petraeus and his family for over five years. We respect his and his family's privacy and want the same for us and our three children."
The military official who identified Kelley spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation. He said Kelley had received harassing emails from Broadwell, which led the FBI to examine her email account and eventually discover her relationship with Petraeus. It was not clear what led Broadwell to send the emails to Kelley.
The FBI contacted Petraeus and other intelligence officials, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asked Petraeus to resign.
A former associate of Petraeus confirmed the target of the emails was Kelley, but said there was no affair between the two, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the retired general's private life. The associate said Kelley and her husband were longtime friends of Petraeus and his wife.
Boylan said Monday that Petraeus is keenly aware that he has injured his family while losing "one of the best jobs he ever had. He's devastated." The affair with Broadwell started about two months after Petraeus took the CIA post, Boylan said. Petraeus became CIA director in September 2011.
Petraeus' affair with Broadwell will be the subject of meetings Wednesday involving congressional intelligence committee leaders, FBI deputy director Sean Joyce and CIA deputy director Michael Morell.
Petraeus had been scheduled to appear before congressional committees on Thursday to testify about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Morell was expected to testify in place of Petraeus, and lawmakers said he should have the answers to their questions.
Clapper was told by the Justice Department of the Petraeus investigation last week at about 5 p.m. on Election Day, and then called Petraeus and urged him to resign, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.
FBI officials said the congressional committees weren't informed until Friday, one official said, because the matter started as a criminal investigation into harassing emails allegedly sent by Broadwell to Kelley.
Concerned that emails Petraeus exchanged with Broadwell raised the possibility of a security breach, the FBI brought the matter up with him directly, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation. Petraeus decided to quit, though he was breaking no laws by having an affair, officials said. ___
Associated Press writers Michele Salcedo, Pete Yost and Matthew Lee contributed to this report.
Timeline of events in Petraeus case
WASHINGTON (AP) — The extramarital affair that brought down David Petraeus' celebrated career last week raised many questions. Among them: when exactly the affair began, how the FBI stumbled upon the information and who was told about it. Here's a timeline of events, according to officials involved in the investigation:
Spring 2006 — Paula Broadwell meets Petraeus at Harvard University where she is a graduate student. Petraeus is a lieutenant general working on a manual about counterinsurgency and is invited to give a speech about his experiences in Iraq.
January 2007 — The Senate confirms Petraeus as the commanding general for U.S. troops in Iraq.
2008 — Broadwell initiates a case study of Petraeus' leadership. On a visit to Washington, Petraeus invites Broadwell to join him and his team for a run along the Potomac River.
October 2008 — Petraeus is named commander of U.S. Central Command, based at MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa, Fla., where Jill Kelley and her husband attend social events alongside the area's military elite.
June 30, 2010 — The Senate confirms Petraeus as the new commander for war in Afghanistan. Over the next year, Broadwell expands her research of Petraeus into an authorized biography. She makes multiple trips to Afghanistan and is given unprecedented access to Petraeus and his commanders.
Sept. 6, 2011 — Petraeus is sworn in as CIA director with his wife, Holly, by his side. Broadwell keeps in contact with Petraeus and is later invited to his office for events, including a meeting with actress Angelina Jolie.
November 2011 — Petraeus begins an extramarital affair with Broadwell, according to retired Army Col. Steve Boylan.
Jan. 24, 2012 — Broadwell's biography, "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus," is released.
Jan. 30, 2012 — In an interview with her hometown paper, the Bismarck Tribune, Broadwell describes Petraeus as an inspirational figure who always takes care of his subordinates.
May 2012 — Kelley, a Tampa socialite, starts receiving harassing emails. The FBI begins investigating soon after.
Summer 2012 — FBI agents determine that the email trail leads to Broadwell. They come across a private Gmail account using an alias name that belongs to Petraeus. Emails between Petraeus and Broadwell lead agents to believe the two are having an affair. FBI Director Robert Mueller is notified. At some point during the investigation, the FBI interviews Petraeus and Broadwell.
July 2012 — The affair between Petraeus and Broadwell ends, according to Petraeus' friend Boylan.
Late Summer 2012— Attorney General Eric Holder is notified. By this time, the FBI has long since concluded there was no national security breach, but continues investigating whether Petraeus had any role in the harassing emails sent to Kelley.
Oct. 27, 2012 — House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., gets a call from an FBI employee notifying him of the affair. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., arranges the call after receiving a tip from another FBI official.
The week of Oct. 29, 2012 — Petraeus and Broadwell are both interviewed for a second time by the FBI. By this point, both have acknowledged the affair to the FBI.
Oct. 31, 2012 — Cantor's chief of staff calls the FBI chief of staff to inform him of the call.
Tuesday, Nov. 6 — As Americans cast their ballots on Election Day, the Justice Department informs Director of National Intelligence James Clapper of the investigation. Clapper calls Petraeus and urges him to resign.
Wednesday, Nov. 7 — The White House is first notified about the affair involving Petraeus. The retired general turns 60.
Thursday, Nov. 8 —President Barack Obama, having returned from Chicago, is told of the affair. Petraeus meets with Obama at the White House and asks to resign.
Friday, Nov. 9 — Obama accepts Petraeus' resignation. News of the resignation breaks before Congress is briefed. Broadwell's husband emails guests to cancel her 40th birthday party, scheduled for that weekend. By the evening, Broadwell has been publicly identified.
Saturday, Nov. 10 — Broadwell's book, ranked 76,792 on Amazon the day before, jumps to 111.
Sunday, Nov. 11 — Lawmakers complain in televised interviews that the FBI didn't alert them sooner to the investigation. Kelley's identity is revealed by the Associated Press, and she issues a statement asking for privacy.
A meeting to discuss the investigation is set for the following Wednesday with the FBI, CIA acting director Michael Morell and senior members of Congress.