Former CIA Director David Petraeus has reached a plea agreement with the Department of Justice, having being accused in 2012 of sharing classified information with his mistress, Paula Broadwell. According to Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi, who spoke to The New York Times, Petraeus will plead guilty to one misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents.
After Petraeus signed the agreement, the Department of Justice issued the following statement:
Three documents — a criminal information, a plea agreement, and a statement of facts — were filed today in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina’s Charlotte Division in the case of United States v. David Howell Petraeus. The criminal information charges the defendant with one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.... The plea agreement and corresponding statement of facts, both signed by the defendant, indicate that he will plead guilty to the one-count criminal Information.
The plea deal will spare the retired U.S. Army general a lengthy and humiliating trial. However, the four-star general's career and reputation have already been irreparably damaged. Just a little over a year after becoming director of the CIA, Petraeus resigned after the FBI discovered his affair with former Army Reserve officer Broadwell. During its investigation into threatening emails sent Jill Kelley, a friend of Petraeus, the FBI learned not only that Petraeus and Broadwell were having an affair, but that she was in possession of classified material.
The FBI initially concluded that Petraeus had not provided Broadwell with the information and were not planning to file charges, but later found evidence to the contrary. Petraeus and Broadwell carried out their affair in 2011, when she was interviewing the general for her biography on him, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, which was published in January 2012. It was during that time that the classified information was provided to her.
After Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was informed of the affair on Nov. 6, 2012, Petraeus resigned days later, publicly admitting to the affair. Amid the fallout, President Obama defended Petraeus, who at one time was in discussion to run for president, telling a news conference, "We are safer because of the work that Dave Petraeus has done." Obama also pointed out that there was no evidence that Petraeus had leaked classified information that "in any way would have had a negative impact on our national security."
Petraeus now faces a possible sentence of up to one year in prison for the unauthorized removal and retention charge. He is still married to his wife, Holly.
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