While the resignation of former CIA director David Petraeus seemed rather abrupt to everybody else, a number of higher ups in the government have been sitting on the revelation about the retired general's affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell since late summer. According to The New York Times who reported on the timing Sunday night, the FBI figured out months ago that Petraeus was cheating on his wife Holly while investigating a complaint from Jill Kelley, a friend of the Petraeus family as well as an unnamed FBI agent who launched the investigation. From there, the details of the affair made their way up the ladder, and eventually the top brass at the FBI and Justice Department all knew.
We already knew the timeline of events regarding the FBI investigation. We just didn't know about the timing exactly. But now that we do, there are surely going to be a lot of pissed of people in Washington. Chatter had already started amongst lawmakers who have complained about being kept in the dark. "We received no advanced notice. It was like a lightning bolt," said Sen. Diane Feinstein, a Democrat from California and chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, echoed Feinstein's remarks. "It seems this (the investigation) has been going on for several months and, yet, now it appears that they're saying that the FBI didn't realize until Election Day that General Petraeus was involved," he said. "It just doesn't add up."
The one lawmaker that did know about the affair was Virginia congressman Eric Cantor, a Republican. The unnamed FBI agent who's friends with Kelley and opened the investigation eventually went to Cantor after his colleagues at the Bureau wouldn't act on the knowledge of the affair. Cantor called up Robert Mueller III, the FBI director, on October 31 to find out what was going on. A week later, Petraeus handed in his letter of resignation.
Well now it's all starting to come together. But seriously, what took so long? According to The Times's sources, the delay had nothing to do with the election. The Feds were just being cautious. In the words of a senior law enforcement official who talked to The Times, "This was very thought-through."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.