Former CIA director David Petraeus reached a plea deal with the Justice Department after a lengthy investigation.
Petraeus was investigated by the FBI for divulging classified data to Paul Broadwell, his mistress and biographer, when he was director of the CIA. He pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material. The plea deal carries a recommended $40,000 fine and two years of probation.
Petreaus reportedly kept eight black books containing classified and declassified notes taken during meetings and briefings during his time as a military commander. It was discovered that, in August 2011, Petraeus had delivered the books to a private residence in Washington where Broadwell was staying.
During an interview conducted by Broadwell for her biography on Petraeus, she reportedly asked him about the notebooks.
“By the way, where are your black books?” Broadwell asked, according to a transcript.
“Um, well, they're really — I mean they are highly classified, some of them,” he replied.
According to court documents, Petraeus lied to the FBI when questioned about his handling of classified information, saying that he had “never provided any classified information to his biographer, and he had never facilitated the provision of classified information to his biographer.”
“Defendant David Howell Petraeus then and there knew that he previously shared the black books with his biographer,” the documents read.
Petraeus, who was one of the most highly regarded generals post-9/11, has a number of supporters in Washington despite the controversy. Sen. John McCain, a supporter of Petraeus, responded to the conclusion of the Department of Justice investigation and subsequent plea deal.
“With the Department of Justice investigation now complete, Gen. Petraeus has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor,” McCain said. “He has apologized and expressed deep regret for this situation, and I believe it is time to consider this matter closed. At a time of grave security challenges around the world, I hope that Gen. Petraeus will continue to provide his outstanding service and leadership to our nation, as he has throughout his distinguished career."
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