The Washington Post is out with more details about the scandal that brought CIA Director David Petraeus’ sterling career crashing down this week.
Petraeus stepped down Friday over his extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell, a former military officer and Petraeus’ biographer. The affair was uncovered by the FBI, who had been investigating a possible security breach involving Petraeus’ emails.
WaPo’s Greg Miller and Sari Horowitz report today that the FBI investigation into Broadwell was triggered when Broadwell sent threatening emails to another woman close to Petraeus.
Miller and Horowitz report:
The recipient of the e-mails was so frightened that she went to the FBI for protection and help tracking down the sender, according to the officials. The FBI investigation traced the threats to Paula Broadwell, a former military officer and a Petraeus biographer, and uncovered explicit e-mails between Broadwell and Petraeus, the officials said.
When Petraeus’s name first surfaced, FBI investigators were concerned that the CIA director’s personal e-mail account had been hacked and security had been breached. But the sexual nature of the e-mails led them to conclude that Petraeus and Broadwell were engaged in an affair, the officials said.
The identity of the woman who received the e-mails was not disclosed, and the nature of her relationship with Petraeus is unknown. The law enforcement officials said the e-mails indicated that Broadwell perceived the other woman as a threat to her relationship with Petraeus.
According to The New York Times, the woman who contacted the FBI was not a member of Petraus’ family or a government employee.
The Post also has more details on the timing of Petraeus’ announcement, which has raised questions about whether the Obama administration waited to break the news until after the election and before Petraeus was scheduled to testify in front of Congress about the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Libya.
According to the Post, the FBI investigation began several weeks ago, but once the FBI realised they had uncovered the affair, it was not clear what the next steps were because there was no crime or breach of security. On Tuesday, the Justice Department notified James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, who subsequently advised Petraeus to resign.
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