Did Petraeus have a SECOND woman?
FBI uncover email trail of threatening messages sent by 'first mistress' to her alleged love rival
- It has emerged details of Petraeus' affair with Paula Broadwell only emerged when she allegedly hacked his email account to send threatening messages to a woman she was jealous of
- The FBI were contacted by the recipient – and the emails were tracked to Paula Broadwell – who by then had been involved with Petraeus Through their investigation Federal agents discovered that Petraeus had shared explicit emails with Broadwell – indicating an affair
By JAMES NYE
In what could be a delicious irony it is being reported the career of CIA Director David Petraeus may have imploded after the woman who he was having an affair with sent threatening e-mails to another woman she suspected of being too close to him.
In fact the as-yet unidentified woman could be the key to the entire scandal unfolding after it was claimed she contacted the FBI for protection after receiving frightening emails and agents traced the threats to Paula Broadwell.
However, it is claimed that Broadwell was using Petraeus' own Gmail account to send the emails and when the FBI began to investigate an obvious national security issue instead uncovered explicit messages between the two sent from the decorated war hero's own account – indicating an affair.
A Woman Scorned? It is being claimed that the affair between David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell emerged after she sent threatening emails to an alleged love rival from the retired general's Gmail account
Three senior law enforcement officials with knowledge of the case told the Washington Post that when Petraeus's name was raised in connection with the threatening emails the FBI thought that security had been breached.
Beginning their investigation into how the Director of the CIA's personal email had been hacked, the FBI agents instead uncovered evidence that he and 40-year-old Broadwell were involved in an extramarital affair.
But, according to the Washington Post, after an investigation Justice Department officials were unclear what to do next, because no crime had occurred nor breach of security.
'Affair': Paula Broadwell (right) allegedly hacked the personal email account of David Petraeus to scare off a woman she suspected of being too close to the retired general.
They contacted James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence and told him they had compromising material about the Petraeus.
Clapper in turn spoke to Petraeus and advised him to resign.
'Director Clapper learned of the situation from the FBI on Tuesday evening around 5 p.m.,' the intelligence official said to the Washington Post.
'In subsequent conversations with Director Petraeus, Director Clapper advised Director Petraeus to resign.'
Director Clapper also added that he did not see the need for an internal investigation by the CIA, citing it as 'a very personal matter, not a matter of intelligence.'
On Wednesday evening, Director Clapper went to the White House and on Thursday morning President Obama was informed.
Later on Thursday, Petraeus arrived to see the President and offered his resignation, which was accepted on Friday.The Washington Post has also reported that in an email message to a friend, Petraeus apologised for his actions.
'He was deeply sorry for the pain he has caused his family,' the friend said.
'He also noted how much he loved his job at the agency. He said he really relished the intellectual challenge there.'
'Other woman': Paula Broadwell, left, is married and has two children. Petraeus has been married to his wife Holly, pictured right, for 37 years, and they also have two children
Close: Broadwell first met Petraeus when he visited Harvard University, where she was a student
Broadwell did not respond to voice mail or email messages seeking comment. Broadwell's biography, 'All In: The Education of General David Petraeus,' was written with Vernon Loeb, a Washington Post editor, and published in January.
Lawmakers from both parties joined Obama in praising Petraeus. Obama said in a statement that Petraeus had provided 'extraordinary service to the United States for decades' and had given a lifetime of service that 'made our country safer and stronger.'
CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell will serve as acting director, Obama said. Morell was the key CIA aide in the White House to President George W. Bush during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
'I am completely confident that the CIA will continue to thrive and carry out its essential mission,' Obama said.
West Point Graduate: Broadwell, pictured here in Afghanistan, has more than a decade of U.S. military service
Broadwell, pictured with Lt Col. Steve Grenier in Gizab, writes opinion pieces on leadership
The resignation comes at a sensitive time. The administration and the CIA have struggled to defend security and intelligence lapses before the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others. It was an issue during the presidential campaign that ended with Obama's re-election Tuesday.
The CIA has come under intense scrutiny for providing the White House and other administration officials with talking points that led them to say the Benghazi attack was a result of a film protest, not a militant terror attack.
It has become clear that the CIA was aware the attack was distinct from the film protests roiling across other parts of the Muslim world.
Morell rather than Petraeus now is expected to testify at closed congressional briefings next week on the assault on the consulate in Benghazi, which occurred on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks
Petraeus, who turned 60 on Wednesday, has been married for 38 years to Holly Petraeus, whom he met when he was a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. She was the daughter of the academy superintendent. They have two children, and their son led an infantry platoon in Afghanistan.
Awkward: Holly Petraeus (left in white) and Paula Broadwell sit in the front row during the CIAconfirmation hearing of US Army General David Petraeus
Petraeus, who became CIA director in September 2011, was known as a shrewd thinker and hard-charging competitor. His management style was recently lauded in a Newsweek article by Broadwell.
The article listed Petraeus' 'rules for living.' No. 5 was: 'We all make mistakes. The key is to recognize them, to learn from them, and to take off the rear view mirrors – drive on and avoid making them again.'
Petraeus, in his email, told his CIA employees that he treasured his work with them 'and I will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end.'
Family Man: In a photograph from 2004 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
Glory Days: David Petraeus is America's best-known general and arguably the most consequential Army leader of his generation. Here he salutes troops in Afghanistan in 2011
The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said Petraeus' departure represented 'the loss of one of our nation's most respected public servants. From his long, illustrious Army career to his leadership at the helm of CIA, Dave has redefined what it means to serve and sacrifice for one's country.'
Other CIA directors have resigned under unflattering circumstances. CIA Director Jim Woolsey left over the discovery of a KGB mole, and director John Deutch left after the revelation that he had kept classified information on his home computer.
Before Obama brought Petraeus to the CIA, he was credited with salvaging the U.S. war in Iraq.
'His inspirational leadership and his genius were directly responsible – after years of failure – for the success of the surge in Iraq,' Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Friday.
President George W. Bush sent Petraeus to Iraq in February 2007, at the peak of sectarian violence, to turn things around as head of U.S. forces.
He oversaw an influx of 30,000 U.S. troops and moved troops out of big bases so they could work more closely with Iraqi forces scattered throughout Baghdad.
Petraeus' success was credited with paving the way for the eventual U.S. withdrawal.