As the scandal involving shamed former director of the CIA, David H. Petraeus, continues to reveal new layers by the hour, it appears that high-ranking officials in both the Justice Department and the F.B.I., including Attorney General Eric Holder, were reportedly aware of the affair between biographer Paula Broadwell and the retired Army general over the summer. With the news breaking last week amid the festive reelection of President Barack Obama, Petraeus’ admission of his personal indiscretion was a shock to many. As a result, Holder has once again become a target of criticism.
Various reports have pointed to the F.B.I. learning of the extramarital affair, but kept their findings internal as it was determined that the decorated war hero did not violate any national security laws, nor was there a potential for a breach. A New York Timesreport was especially thorough in detailing the timeline from late this summer until now, although details continue to develop outside of Petraeus and Broadwell. The affair was discovered after Jill Kelley (nee Khawam) alerted the F.B.I. after receiving threatening emails from Broadwell regarding Petraues, according to various news outlets. Kelly and her husband, Scott, revealed in a statement they were close friends of the Petraues family.
Attorney General Holder, already contending with earlier issues in his high-profile role, has been under fire after not making the decision to share his findings and opening a subsequent investigation. President Obama did not know about the Petraeus matter until a day after vanquishing his Republican foe Mitt Romney on Election Day – raising red flags in the minds of Holder’s many detractors who want to see him replaced. After the botched “Fast And Furious” operation under Holder’s command, Republican lawmakers have been rabid in their desire to take down the Attorney General. This latest fiasco has galvanized the chorus of voices calling for a replacement, shaking up Obama’s rapidly morphing cabinet.