Unlike the drip-drip-drip with Benaghazi, the media has turned the spigot on full blast with the Broadwell-Petraeus affair. CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC and FOX all displayed the affair as their top story this morning. Benghazi? Not so much. It would appear a sex scandal warrants more attention than four dead Americans at the hands of terrorists.
The hearings on Benghazi are to take place three days from now on the 15th. No additional details on possible a possible subpoena for Petraeus is floating out there right now. In his place, Michael J. Morrell is set to testify as acting CIA Director. Morrell has filled this role before when Panetta shifted out of the Director role in President Obama’s first term. Morrell was promoted to Deputy director after the Christmas underwear bomber incident. Morrell is a long time CIA employee – he started with the agency back in 1980 and was an intelligence adviser to Bush during 9/11. It’s likely that being what some would call ‘too much of an insider‘ is why Morrell will not be permanent in the role and why the administration is looking for someone else.
Since my last post, we’ve learned more about how the FBI came to discover the affair and who knew about it. I mused yesterday that it was a very low likelihood the White House had no knowledge until this past week of this investigation. A report has surfaced that Rep. Eric Cantor’s office was contacted about the investigation late in October. Apparently Cantor wasn’t the only Representative to be aware of this information, so was Rep. Dave Reichert. Via The Hill:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) says he was told in late October about allegations that then-CIA Director David Petraeus was having an extramarital affair.
The GOP lawmaker said his office was notified about the charges from an FBI employee, who raised questions about a possible security breach, according to a report from the New York Times published Saturday.
“I was contacted by an F.B.I. employee concerned that sensitive, classified information may have been compromised and made certain [FBI] Director [Robert] Mueller was aware of these serious allegations and the potential risk to our national security,” said Cantor in a statement to the Times.
The report says Cantor spoke to the FBI employee after being told by Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) that someone at the agency had concerns about national security and wanted to speak to a congressional leader about the allegations.
Cantor says his office notified the FBI about the conversation with the agency employee.
Cantor’s disclosures is likely to raise further questions about the FBI’s role investigating Petraeus, who stepped down from atop the CIA on Friday, and when members of the administration and other lawmakers first learned about the affair.
So, Cantor’s office, Reichert’s office knew in October and the DOJ knew over the Summer — but the White House didn’t know about a bombshell of this size until after the election? If you buy that, I will sell you some ocean front property in Kansas I’ve been sitting on.
Let’s back up a bit to how the FBI became involved in the first place. It would appear that a friend of the Petraeus family named Jill Kelley, a 37 year-old Tampa Housewife, received threatening emails from Broadwell.
Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell, revealed to be his mistress, sent harassing emails to Mrs Kelley that said ‘I know what you did,’ ‘back off’ and ‘stay away from my guy,’ a source told the New York Post.
Mrs Kelley responded by calling the FBI, which stumbled on Broadwell’s affair when agents examined her email account and found steamy exchanges with Petraeus.
“I know what you did”? One has to wonder what Broadwell meant by that and her other quoted statements. I certainly hope this isn’t going to further degenerate into a string of sexual misadventures. The NY Post has a little bit more: Woman who received ‘threatening’ e-mails from Gen. David Petraeus’ mistress is revealed
Another interesting tidbit that has surfaced on Broadwell are comments she made related to Benghazi. Broadwell suggested that the attack might have been in part inspired by Libyan militia being held prisoner at the CIA Annex. This is the first time most of us are hearing of this alleged prisoner scenario. Not surprising, since the media was avoiding the story like the plague. Here are the remarks courtesy of Jim Hoft at The Gateway Pundit:
Powerline has more detail of Broadwell’s remarks that is worth your time, along with an update that the CIA is denying what Broadwell stated is true. The very notion the CIA was running a secret prison of some kind in Benghazi raises a whole new set of questions. While the CIA is denying Broadwell’s statements, it would seem unlikely she just plucked that idea out of thin air. I am sure some of her comments were intended to protect Petraeus as she has gone to the effort to make sure to humanize him on a regular basis.