The announcement of General David Petraeus’ resignation as CIA director, on Friday, November 9, over an extramarital affair, just days after the re-election of President Obama, has sparked questions of what General Petraeus knew about the terrorist attacks on the U.S. compound in Benghazi and what potential information he may have divulged to his alleged mistress, Paula Broadwell. Four Americans were killed in the attack, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
In a letter sent to colleagues on Friday, Petraeus wrote:
Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position. After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours....
This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.
The news of Petraeus’ immediate resignation came rather abruptly and as a shock to many, in light of the current investigation over what happened in Benghazi. Even the intelligence committees of Congress were kept in the dark about the FBI investigation and resignation of Petraeus.
On Fox News Sunday, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Chris Wallace, “The FBI has briefed me now. I actually wish we had been briefed a little bit earlier.... We received no advanced notice. It was like a lightning bolt.” Feinstein said she would investigate the FBI’s handling of its investigation into Petraeus’ affair and also why top congressional lawmakers were not debriefed about the investigation until it became public.
Originally, both CIA Director Petraeus and Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper were slated to testify before Congress this week over the September 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya.
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Photo of Gen. Petraeus with Broadwell: AP Images