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David Petraeus Reaches Plea Deal, Admits Giving Mistress Secrets

CIA headquarters

Veteran and former CIA director David Petraeus has reached a plea arrangement with federal prosecutors. Petraeus will plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of removing and retaining classified material while admitting that he gave his mistress the material while he was director of the CIA.

According to the Huffington Post, the plea deal means that Petraeus will likely avoid any prison time, with federal prosecutors asking for 2 years of probation and a $40,000 fine.

Petraeus was accused of giving classified government information to Paula Broadwell, whom he had an affair with while she wrote his biography. A court document laying out the basis for the plea agreement said that Petraeus had eight “black books” with classified information, which included notes from talks with President Obama.

He provided the books to Broadwell, delivering them to a home in Washington, D.C. where she was staying. FBI agents executing a search warrant removed the books from his home in April 2013.

It was announced in January that Petraeus would face criminal charges for sharing classified information. Senators John McCain and Dianne Feinstein have spoken out in support of Petraeus, saying he should not have been charged but hope a resolution will allow him to move on.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– John McCain” author_title=”Republican Senator of Arizona”]

Now he can put this behind him and move on and continue to serve the country. All of us in life make mistakes.


Petraeus, a retired four-star general, was once viewed as a potential candidate for vice presidency or the presidency. He led the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and helped create the counterinsurgency strategy that was viewed as the model for future warfare, according to the New York Times.

The plea deal will spare Petraeus a high-profile trial that would certainly lead to details of the affair being presented to the jury and the public. Petraeus is still married to Holly Petraeus, whom he married in 1974.

Petraeus and Broadwell met while Broadwell was a student at Harvard University working on a dissertation about Petraeus. She eventually gained sizable access to the war hero and published the biography, “All In,” in 2012, only 10 months before he resigned from the CIA.

The affair only came to light by chance, as the FBI was attempting to figure out who had been sending harassing emails to a woman in Florida who had ties to senior U.S. military officials. The FBI traced the emails to Broadwell, and reviewing her email led to the FBI discovering the affair, according to ABC News.

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