NEWSFLASH: David Petraeus To Plead Guilty In Connection With Disclosing Classified Information To His Mistress Paula Broadwell

Former CIA Director General David Petraeus

Former CIA Director General David Petraeus

By Elaine Magliaro

Ryan J. Reilly of Huffington Post reported earlier today that former military commander and CIA Director David Petraeus agreed today “to plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of removing and retaining classified material, admitting to providing his mistress with that material while he headed the CIA.” Reilly said that the plea deal–the details of which were revealed in documents that were filed “in federal court in the Western District of North Carolina–means that Petraeus will likely avoid prison time.” He added that federal prosecutors “will ask for two years of probation and a $40,000 fine under the terms of the plea agreement.”


Petraeus was long believed to have given classified information to Paula Broadwell, a woman he had an affair with who also wrote a biography on the general. According to a court document laying out the factual basis for the plea agreement, Petraeus maintained eight “black books” that contained classified information, including notes from his discussions with President Barack Obama. He provided the books to Broadwell and delivered them to a residence in Washington, D.C., where she was staying in 2011.

Too bad government whistleblowers like Jeffrey Sterling and John Kiriakou weren’t accorded the same kind of plea deals. Evidently, we aren’t all equal under the law.


David Petraeus To Plead Guilty In Connection With Disclosing Classified Information To Mistress (Huffington Post)


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28 Responses to NEWSFLASH: David Petraeus To Plead Guilty In Connection With Disclosing Classified Information To His Mistress Paula Broadwell

  1. Anonymously Yours says:

    When you can’t trust those in charge, you prosecute them. Not enough is being done. How about the entire Bush/Cheney Administration?

  2. Link to a PDF of the guilty plea as filed:

  3. eniobob says:

    Parallel sliding boards I guess. Must be something about government secrets.Sorry Mr Robertson
    secrets not vegetables seem to have been the aphrodisiac here for Mr David Petraeus and Mr Dick Morris.

  4. rafflaw says:

    Sounds like a sweetheart deal!

  5. Anonymously Yours says:

    Now he won’t be charged with lying to the FBI which is a felony…. Hmmmm…. How does that work…

  6. Anonymously Yours says:

    So raff, when are you going to start blogging here, where we may disagree but you are appreciated for your efforts?

  7. Elaine M. says:

    Petraeus Mistress Got Black Books Full of Code Words, Spy Names, and Obama Briefings
    The one-time CIA director didn’t just disclose secrets to his mistress. He shared with her some of the most sensitive information the Pentagon has.

    David Petraeus, a retired four-star general and former director of the CIA, pleaded guilty Tuesday to giving highly classified information to his ex-mistress. The information came in the form of eight black books that contained everything from identities of covert officers to discussions with President Obama.

    The Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation alleged back in 2012 that Petraeus gave secret information to Paula Broadwell, but the seriousness of the information wasn’t clear until now.

    While he was commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, Petraeus “maintained bound, five-by-eight inch notebooks that contained his daily schedule and classified and unclassified notes he took during official meetings, conferences and briefings,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina writes in a statement of fact regarding the case.

    The notebooks had black covers with Petraeus’s business card taped on the front of each of them.

    All eight books “collectively contained classified information regarding the identifies of covert officers, war strategy, intelligence capabilities and mechanisms, diplomatic discussions, quotes and deliberative discussions from high-level National Security Council meetings… and discussions with the president of the United States.”

    The books also contained “national defense information, including top secret/SCI and code word information,” according to the court papers. In other words: These weren’t just ordinary secrets. This was highly, highly classified material.

    While a historian from the Department of Defense gathered and organized classified materials that Petraeus collected while serving in the Pentagon, he “never provided the black books to his DOD historian.”

    Instead, Petraeus kept the black books in a “rucksack” in his home, according to a conversation recorded by biographer and mistress Paula Broadwell in 2011.

    “They are highly classified, some of them… I mean there’s code word stuff in there,” Petraeus said. Nevertheless, he emailed her and agreed to provide the black books.

    Then Petraeus personally delivered the black books to a residence where Broadwell was staying in Washington, D.C. A few days later, he returned to retrieve them.

  8. blouise says:

    What a guy.

    He is valued for his rolodex by his latest employer, an equity firm, KKR & Co.

    He also visits universities and leads ROTC members on early morning jogs.

    I’m sure he’s available for your community’s spaghetti dinner if the price is right.

  9. Anonymously Yours says:


    You made every reference to the guy would do anything if the price was right…. Only one left out was he sounds like an attorney….

  10. pete says:

    Five words that I haven’t seen but should, “conduct unbecoming” and “reduced in rank”.

  11. Carterbo says:

    The actions committed only results in a “misdemeanor”, WOW! Also it appears David is a whupped man as evidence of who received the classified material.

  12. Elaine M. says:

    GAP Press Statement Regarding Petraeus’ Soft Plea Deal
    Government Accountability Project
    March 03, 2015

    GAP’s Jesselyn Radack and GAP Clients John Kiriakou and Thomas Drake Speak out Against Hypocrisy of Plea Deals

    (WASHINGTON) – Today, the Justice Department handed former CIA Director David Petraeus a friendly plea agreement, which includes a recommendation of two years probation under 18 USC Sec. 1924 for illegally disclosing classified information to his mistress. The agreement highlights the grossly unfair double standard in so-called “leak” prosecutions, as eight whistleblowers have been charged under the draconian 1917 Espionage Act since 2008.

    In regard to the plea deal, GAP’s Jesselyn Radack stated:

    “The government has used the Espionage Act to overzealously prosecute GAP’s whistleblower clients and threaten them with decades in prison. Petraeus’ cushy plea deal makes crystal clear that the government has more than enough tools to punish leaks without resorting to the heavy-handed Espionage Act.

    “The Justice Department reserves the Espionage Act for whistleblowers like GAP clients Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake and John Kiriakou, who reveal information in the public interest, while well-connected, politically powerful leakers like Petraeus, whose leaks are of no benefit to the public, are given a slap on the wrist, or a promotion and a book deal. This selective and vindicate enforcement of the law has no place in a democratic justice system.”

  13. Elaine M. says:


    Under his deal with prosecutors, Petraeus pleaded guilty to just one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified information, a misdemeanor that can be punishable by a year in jail, though the deal calls only for probation and a $40,000 fine. As The New York Times noted today, the deal “allows Mr. Petraeus to focus on his lucrative post-government career as a partner in a private equity firm and a worldwide speaker on national security issues.”

    The deal has another effect: it all but confirms a two-tier justice system in which senior officials are slapped on the wrist for serious violations while lesser officials are harshly prosecuted for relatively minor infractions.

    For instance, last year, after a five-year standoff with federal prosecutors, Stephen Kim, a former State Department official, pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Espionage Act when he discussed a classified report about North Korea with Fox News reporter James Rosen in 2009. Kim did not hand over a copy of the report — he just discussed it, and nothing else — and the report was subsequently described in court documents as a “nothing burger” in terms of its sensitivity. Kim is currently in prison on a 13-month sentence.

    “The issue is not whether General Petraeus was dealt with too leniently, because the pleadings indicate good reason for that result,” said Abbe Lowell, who is Kim’s lawyer. “The issue is whether others are dealt with far too severely for conduct that is no different. This underscores the random, disparate and often unfair application of the national security laws where higher-ups are treated better than lower-downs.”

  14. blouise says:

    Of course Petraeus didn’t get off as well as all those CIA torture guys/gals.

    What a complete joke this Justice system is.

  15. blouise17 says:

    Didn’t he initially lie to the investigators? Isn’t that obstruction and a felony?

  16. blouise17 says:

    I guess MoveOn was right all those years ago when they called him General Betray Us..

  17. Elaine M. says:


    Felony charges are for the little guys…not the VIPs.

  18. Compare his treatment, and that of Scooter Libby, to that of Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Jeffrey Sterling.

    I read yesterday that Edward Snowden wants to come home, and apparently is in negotiations so that he will be guaranteed a fair trial. Good luck with that.

  19. blouise17 says:


    It’s rather amazing to actually witness the acceptance of such criminal behavior simply because the guy regularly attended dinner parties thrown by a bunch of puffed up politicians and their CEO buds. Makes one wonder what sort of patriots these people really are. Would they all sell out their country for a roll in the hay? Is that why they have extended such “sympathy and understanding” to this guy? There but for the grace of God … and all that.

  20. bettykath says:

    I agree with all that he got a sweetheart deal. Wonder what he could have revealed if it went to trial?

    Considering that his affair was on-going while he was an active general and it led to acts of espionage (imo), why was he not given a dishonorable discharge with loss of pay and other benefits? It would have been his commanding officer who would have had to bring the charges.

  21. blouise17 says:


    I’ve been reading the stories regarding Snowden’s possible return and one paragraph jumped out:

    “Holder’s remarks are the latest in a series of hints the administration might consider some kind of plea bargain with the former contractor. Such a move that would be deeply unpopular with intelligence officials and their supporters on Capitol Hill.”

    Hmmm … deeply unpopular with intelligence officials. Yeah, right. It’s okay to let those officials off for torturing and it’s okay to let Petraeus off for fucking some broad who is writing a book aimed at promoting his over inflated ego and place of importance in history but, a whistleblower who revealed the illegalities being committed by intelligence officials … no, that’s unpopular, deeply unpopular.

    Sure it is, if for no other reason than the fact that they’ll no longer be invited to dinner parties but instead become the subjects laughingly discussed between courses. That’s a fate worse than death to these Cambridge-like throwbacks.

    In fact, Mr. Snowdon may want to deeply consider what these guys will do to him when their dinner party invitations are threatened. They are indeed, and have proven time and time again, that shallow. Another person’s life means nothing when compared to dinner at eight.

  22. blouise17 says:

    Considering that his affair was on-going while he was an active general and it led to acts of espionage (imo), why was he not given a dishonorable discharge with loss of pay and other benefits? It would have been his commanding officer who would have had to bring the charges. – bettykath

    I suspect for the same reason the CIA torture folk got off. To many ripples endangering too many careers. Incompetence must be protected so that the incompetent can keep their jobs.

  23. pete says:


    His plea bargain is for the criminal charges. He could still face courts martial for Conduct Unbecoming an Officer. Between the affair and the lying IMO he should lose his flag, minimum.

    But no one from the Pentagon has called for my opinion.

  24. blouise17 says:

    I just finished reading a book about Philby’s incredible 30 year run as a Soviet spy. When he was finally unmasked the Brits let him “escape” to Russia because putting him on trial would have deeply embarrassed and threatened the very existence of MI5 and the CIA.

    Although the circumstances are different here, the reasoning is the same. Petraeus is getting off easy because others are covering their asses.

  25. blouise17 says:

    But no one from the Pentagon has called for my opinion. – pete

    If they do call, don’t answer.

  26. swarthmoremom says: “So why is Petraeus getting off with a misdemeanor and a probable probationary sentence? Two reasons: money and power. Money lets you hire attorneys to negotiate with the feds pre-charge, to get the optimal result. Power — whether in the form of actual authority or connections to people with authority — gets you special consideration and the soft, furry side of prosecutorial discretion.

    This is colloquially known as justice.”

  27. blouise17 says:


    A good lawyer certainly helps especially if he/she points out the facts involved in the discovery of Petraeus wrong doing.

    Another general’s “favorite dinner party hostess” was getting anonymous, threatening emails. She complained to her general and he steered her to the FBI. It’s what any good general/dinner guest would do.

    The FBI can’t possibly dismiss the complaints of a general’s favorite hostess, so they investigated. Lo and behold that investigation revealed that the threatening emails were coming from another general’s mistress. And within that bulk of mistress emails were references to and actual examples of classified documents from lover boy.

    Note, Petraeus was not unmasked by the due diligence of the CIA. They hadn’t even bothered to vet the guy because, and this is where I use the Cambridge-like reference, he’s from good stock so he has to be okay. Even the President didn’t demand a vetting (probably for the same reasons) before appointing him. Who outed his security violations? A pissed off dinner party hostess with the unwitting help of her general.

    Now, all things considered, does the, once again, duped and incompetent CIA want all that discussed in court? Does the military want a bunch of their generals paraded in front of a jury along with their general’s favorite hostesses? Who knows how many hostesses are out there? Who knows how many dinner parties other CIA officials have attended?

    It’s shrunken penis power, nothing more and any good lawyer knows how to wield it. The negotiations are known as the little blue pill that makes all illusions possible.

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