Former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus may still be called upon by Congressional lawmakers in the coming weeks to testify about the September terror attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Petraeus, who has had one of the most distinguished military careers and was once rumored to possibly run for President, shockingly resigned from his post on Friday, citing an extramarital affair
Still, some lawmakers said they are only giving it time for things to cool down before bringing Petraeus in for questioning on the attack, even though he has left the spy agency.
Petraeus was scheduled to testify Thursday in closed-door hearings but is no longer expected to do so, since he is no longer at the CIA. However, some lawmakers believe hearing from the Army general himself is crucial to understanding the facts surrounding the potential security lapse at the U.S. consulate, where four Americans perished.
After the resignation, Rep. Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, told Fox News that Petraeus is going to have to testify anyway.
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“There’s no way we can get to the bottom of Benghazi without David Petraeus,” Gowdy said. “So while he may not be around next week because he’s got personal matters, the week after that and the week after that and the week after that this excuse will run stale.”
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah, also believes there’s “no reason” the former director shouldn’t still testify.
When asked on Fox News Sunday whether the committee needs to hear from Petraeus, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said it may well need to and may well ask.
“I think that’s up to the committee,” she said. “I think we should have this first hearing, which is the way they wanted to set it up, and then the committee will make the decision.”
Feinstein doesn’t believe there is a link between Petraeus’ resignation and Benghazi.
Reports are that the 60-year-old retired general had an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, 40. ABC News reported that the two, who are married, began the affair several months after Petraeus retired from the Army in August 2011.
Retired U.S. Army Col. Steve Boylan, a former Petraeus spokesman, told ABC News that the affair ended four months ago.
A second woman, Jill Kelley, from Florida, is caught up in the scandal as well.
Officials told the media that the biographer sent Kelley harassing emails that made her feel threatened. Kelley, 37, reported the emails to authorities, and an FBI investigation into the emails discovered Petraeus’s relationship with Broadwell.
Kelley, a volunteer for military-related causes who is also married, is believed to not be romantically involved with Petraeus.
“We and our family have been friends with Gen. Petraeus and his family for over five years,” Kelley said in a statement to the media Sunday. “We respect his and his family's privacy and want the same for us and our three children.”