Associate says David Petraeus shocked by threatening emails which triggered investigation
FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2009 file photo, Gen. David Petraeus, commander U.S. Central Command, left, stands with his wife Holly before the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Tampa, Fla. Gen. Petraeus, the retired four-star general who led the U.S. military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, resigned Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 as director of the CIA after admitting he had an extramarital affair. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
CORRECTS TO SAY KELLEY IS AN UNPAID SOCIAL LIASON TO MACDILL AFB, NOT STATE DEPARTMENT - In this Jan. 30, 2010 photo, Natalie Khawam, left, Gen. David Petraeus, Scott and Jill Kelley, and Holly Petraeus watch the Gasparilla parade from the comfort of a tent on the Kelley's front lawn in Tampa, Fla. Jill Kelley is identified as the woman who received threatening emails from Gen. David Petraeus' paramour, Paula Broadwell. Jill Kelley 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. (AP Photo/The Tampa Bay Times, Amu Scherzer) TAMPA OUT; CITRUS COUNTY OUT; PORT CHARLOTTE OUT; BROOKSVILLE HERNANDO TODAY OUT; USA TODAY OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT; MAGS OUT
FILE - In this June 23, 2011, file photo, Gen. David Petraeus, center, walks with his wife Holly, left, past a seated Paula Broadwell, rear right, as he arrives to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee during a hearing on his nomination to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency on Capitol Hill in Washington. Petraeus quit Nov. 9, 2012, after acknowledging an extramarital relationship. As questions arise about the extramarital affair between Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, she has remained quiet about details of their relationship. However, information has emerged about Jill Kelley, the woman who received the emails from Broadwell that led to the FBIs discovery of Petraeus indiscretion. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2011 file photo, former Commander of International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan Gen. Davis Petraeus kisses his wife Holly during an armed forces farewell tribute and retirement ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va. Gen. Petraeus, the retired four-star general who led the U.S. military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, resigned Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 as director of the CIA after admitting he had an extramarital affair. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
In the frame grab from C-SPAN Book TV video taken Feb. 6, 2012, author Paula Broadwell speaks to an audience about the book she co-authored, "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus," at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington. The scandal that brought down CIA Director David Petraeus started with harassing emails sent by his biographer and paramour, Broadwell, to another woman, and eventually led the FBI to discover he was having an affair, U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Petraeus quit Friday, Nov. 9, after acknowledging an extramarital relationship. (AP Photo/C-SPAN Book TV)
FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2011 file photo, former Commander of International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan Gen. Davis Petraeus, standing with his wife Holly, participates in an armed forces farewell tribute and retirement ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va. Gen. Petraeus, the retired four-star general who led the U.S. military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, resigned Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 as director of the CIA after admitting he had an extramarital affair. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
In this July 26, 2012, photo, Davidson Day quarterback Will Grier poses for a portrait at the high school in Davidson, N.C. Grier threw for a national record 837 yards passing and 10 touchdowns in his team's 104-80 win in a state playoff game Friday, Nov. 9. (AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, Todd Sumlin) LOCAL TV OUT (WSOC, WBTV, WCNC, WCCB); LOCAL PRINT OUT (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, CREATIVE LOAFLING, CHARLOTTE WEEKLY, MECHLENBURG TIMES, CHARLOTTE MAGAZINE, CHARLOTTE PARENTS) LOCAL RADIO OUT (WBT)
FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2004 file photo, Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, center, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division, kisses his wife, Holly, second left, as his son, Stephen, left, and daughter, Anne, right, look on upon his return home from Iraq to Fort Campbell, Ky. Gen. Petraeus, the retired four-star general who led the U.S. military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, resigned Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 as director of the CIA after admitting he had an extramarital affair. (AP Photo/Christopher Berkey, File)
In this Jan. 15, 2012 photo, Paula Broadwell, author of the David Petraeus biography "All In," poses for photos in Charlotte, N.C. Petraeus, the retired four-star general renowned for taking charge of the military campaigns in Iraq and then Afghanistan, abruptly resigned Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 as director of the CIA, admitting to an extramarital affair. Petraeus carried on the affair with Broadwell, according to several U.S. officials with knowledge of the situation. (AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, T. Ortega Gaines) LOCAL TV OUT (WSOC, WBTV, WCNC, WCCB); LOCAL PRINT OUT (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, CREATIVE LOAFLING, CHARLOTTE WEEKLY, MECHLENBURG TIMES, CHARLOTTE MAGAZINE, CHARLOTTE PARENTS) LOCAL RADIO OUT (WBT)
WASHINGTON — 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.