Prosecutors, FBI Said to Recommend Criminal Charges for Petraeus

David Petraeus may face criminal charges for providing government secrets to his former mistress as director of the CIA.

David Petraeus speaks onstage during a fireside chat at the Team Rubicon Salute To Service Awards at Skirball Cultural Center on November 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

(Bloomberg) -- Justice Department prosecutors and federal investigators have recommended that retired Army General David Petraeus be charged with providing government secrets to his former mistress while he was director of the CIA, two U.S. officials said.

The FBI and prosecutors finished their probe into the matter last year and presented their findings to top Justice Department lawyers, according to the two officials, who asked for anonymity because they aren’t allowed to discuss the matter publicly.

The officials said agents and prosecutors have expressed frustration that a decision on whether to file criminal charges has yet to be made by Attorney General Eric Holder, whose tenure as the nation’s top law enforcement official is drawing to a close. Holder in September said he would resign pending confirmation of a replacement.

Petraeus, 62, resigned from his Central Intelligence Agency post on in November 2012, after his affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, became public.

A spokesman for Holder, Brian Fallon, declined to comment. Petraeus didn’t respond to a request for comment. His attorney, Robert Barnett, declined to comment on the investigation.

The recommendation for charges was reported earlier by the New York Times.

Petraeus has acknowledged the extramarital affair, which began about two months after he took over as CIA director in 2011 and ended four months before he resigned. He has denied providing Broadwell with classified information.

Classified Material

However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation found a significant volume of classified information on a personal computer Broadwell used and determined it came from Petraeus, according to one of the U.S. officials.

After FBI agents discovered the classified material, Broadwell’s Defense Department security clearance was revoked, a U.S. military official who was briefed on the case said in 2012.

The extent of the security breach isn’t clear. President Barack Obama said in November 2012 that he’d seen no evidence that classified information was disclosed that “in any way would have had a negative impact on our national security.”

Holder hasn’t publicly discussed the case. FBI Director James Comey told reporters in December that he didn’t want to address the pace of the probe. “I can’t say. I mean, I guess I could say, but I won’t say.”

Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, has said he is concerned that the two-year investigation has muzzled Petraeus from offering his opinion about national security matters.

In a letter to Holder last month, McCain urged the Justice Department to make a decision on whether to prosecute the general because the country “cannot afford to have this voice silenced or curtailed by the shadow of a long-running, unresolved investigation marked by leaks from anonymous sources.”

“This matter needs to be brought to resolution,” McCain wrote.

To contact the reporter on this story:

Del Quentin Wilber in Washington at +1-202-654-4309 or

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at +1-202-624-1976 or

Justin Blum, Don Frederick

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