FBI and Justice Department prosecutors have recommended that Attorney General Eric Holder bring felony charges against retired General David Petraeus, according the New York Times. In 2012, when it surfaced that Petraeus -- who formerly served as the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan -- had been having an affair with author Paula Broadwell, he paid for the mistake with his job, resigning as director of the CIA. Now Petraeus could face an even worse consequence for the affair: prison.
According to the New York Times, the FBI and Justice Department want to charge Petraeus for providing classified information to Broadwell during the duration of their affair. Broadwell had been writing the retired general’s biography and the FBI allegedly discovered classified documents on Broadwell’s computer after his resignation that she had obtained after Petraeus had given her access to his CIA email account.
Eric Holder has reportedly been wrestling with pressing charges for a while now, previously intending to decide by the end of 2014. The recommendations from the FBI and Justice Department will certainly put more pressure on the attorney general now.
However, Petraeus has maintained that he never provided Broadwell with any classified information. While a plea bargain could likely keep him out of prison, Petraeus does not seem to have any intention of admitting any guilt in the matter, according to the New York Times.
President Barack Obama has yet to comment on the FBI and Justice Department recommendations. Upon Petraeus’ resignation in 2012, Obama had said that there was no evidence that any vital classified information had been leaked by the general.
“We are safer because of the work that Dave Petraeus has done," Obama said, in reference to Petraeus’ career in government. "And my main hope right now is -- is that he and his family are able to move on and that this ends up being a single side note on what has otherwise been an extraordinary career."
Time will tell if Holder will let Petraeus put the issue behind him or if criminal charges will follow.