Obama responds warily to sex scandal, FBI probe

Associated Press Modified: November 14, 2012 at 8:46 pm •  Published: November 14, 2012
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Earlier, it was learned that sometime before this investigation, Humphries had sent Kelley photos of him shirtless. Over the summer, FBI executives told Humphries to steer clear of the developing Kelley case because they had concerns he had become too personally involved.

Kelley met Humphries when she attended the bureau's Citizens' Academy, an FBI program aimed at showing members of the public at least some of what the FBI does and how it works, Berger said. The academy lasted from Sept. 13 to Nov. 30, 2011, the AP learned.

Officials who have seen the communications between Allen and Kelley on Wednesday described some of the emails as "suggestive," and said their release would be embarrassing for the general. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.

With Broadwell and Kelley suddenly in the center of the storm, small details suddenly became topics for discussion.

Word surfaced Wednesday that Kelley's pass to enter MacDill Air Force Base in Florida had been indefinitely suspended, a decision made at the base level. Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Steven Warren said Kelley still can enter the base but must report to the visitor center and sign in like others without a pass.

Separately, a U.S. official said the Army has suspended Broadwell's security clearance. As a former Army intelligence officer, she held a high security clearance. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the source was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Broadwell, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., was spotted in Washington at her brother's home late Tuesday. Her listing in her high school yearbook in Bismarck, N.D., as "most likely to be remembered" took on new meaning.

FBI Director Robert Mueller and Deputy Director Sean Joyce met privately with legislators on both sides of the Capitol on Wednesday to explain how the investigation unfolded. They met first with Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and ranking Republican Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, then crossed the Capitol to meet with the House Intelligence Committee.

Acting CIA Director Michael Morell went before the House panel next, after meeting a day earlier with top Senate intelligence officials to explain the CIA's take on events that led to Petraeus' resignation.

The questioning on Capitol Hill will continue on Thursday.

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said a hearing scheduled for Thursday to explore the government's handling of the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, also would touch on the Petraeus affair, covering how and why the FBI investigation was started. He said Mueller, Joyce and Morell only began to answer those questions Wednesday.

"How did you get the information, what's the basis for the investigation, who did you talk to, were you working with prosecutors, all those issues have to be looked at," including why the intelligence committees weren't told of the investigation until just before Petraeus' resignation, he said.

Petraeus will testify Friday before the House Intelligence Committee about Libya, panel spokeswoman Susan Phalen said.

Lawmakers are also concerned over reports that Broadwell had classified information on her laptop, though FBI investigators say they concluded there was no security breach.

FBI agents who contacted Petraeus told him that sensitive, possibly classified documents related to Afghanistan were found on her computer, the general's associates said. He assured investigators they did not come from him, and he mused to his associates that they were probably given to her on her reporting trips to Afghanistan by commanders she visited in the field there.

One associate also said Petraeus believes the documents described past operations and had already been declassified, although they might have still been marked "secret."

Feinstein, asked by reporters if there was a national security breach with the Petraeus affair, said she had "no evidence that there was at this time."

Feinstein said that Petraeus himself would testify before Congress — but not about the affair. She said he had agreed to appear to talk about the Libya attack on Sept. 11 that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, but she said no date had been set.

Allen has been allowed to stay in his job as commander of the Afghan war, providing a leading voice in White House discussions on how many troops will remain in Afghanistan — and for what purposes — after the U.S.-led combat operation ends in 2014.

But Obama has put on hold Allen's nomination to become the next commander of U.S. European Command as well as the NATO supreme allied commander in Europe until Pentagon investigators are able to sift through the 20,000-plus pages of documents and emails that involve Allen and Kelley.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, at a news conference in Perth, Australia, said, "No one should leap to any conclusions" about Allen, and said he is fully confident in Allen's ability to continue to lead in Afghanistan. He added that putting a hold on Allen's European Command nomination was the "prudent" thing to do.

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Associated Press writers Kimberly Dozier, Pauline Jelinek, Lolita Baldor, Michael J. Sniffen, Eileen Sullivan and Adam Goldman in Washington and Dale Wetzel in Bismarck, N.D., contributed to this report.

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