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Lover’s emails tipped FBI

Another woman’s complaint led investigators to Petraeus

– The scandal that brought down CIA Director David Petraeus started with harassing emails sent by his biographer and paramour, Paula Broadwell, to another woman, and eventually led the FBI to discover the affair, U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Saturday.

Petraeus quit Friday after acknowledging an extramarital relationship.

The official said the FBI investigation began several months ago with a complaint against Broadwell, a 40-year-old graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and an Army Reserve officer. That probe led agents to her email account, which uncovered the relationship with the 60-year-old retired four-star general, who earned acclaim for his leadership of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The identity of the other woman and her connection with Broadwell were not immediately known.

Concerned that the emails he exchanged with Broadwell raised the possibility of a security breach, the FBI brought the matter up with Petraeus directly, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation. The FBI approached the CIA director because his emails in the matter were in most instances sent from a personal account, not his CIA one.

Petraeus decided to quit, abruptly ending a high-profile career that might have culminated with a run for the presidency, a notion he was believed to be considering.

Petraeus handed his resignation letter to President Obama on Thursday, stunning many in the White House, the CIA and Congress. The news broke in the media before the House and Senate intelligence committees were briefed, officials say. By Friday evening, multiple officials identified Broadwell, who spent the better part of a year reporting on Petraeus’ time in Afghanistan.

Members of Congress said they want answers to questions about the affair that led to Petraeus’ resignation.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and ranking member Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., will meet Wednesday with FBI deputy director Sean Joyce, and CIA acting Director Michael Morell to ask questions, including how the investigation came about, according to a senior congressional staffer who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

Petraeus has been married for 38 years to Holly Petraeus, the daughter of the West Point superintendent when he was a student at the New York school.

“He is truly remorseful about everything that’s happened,” said Steve Boylan, a retired army officer and former Petraeus spokesman who spoke with the former general on Saturday. In a phone call with Boylan on Saturday, Petraeus lamented the damage he’d done to his “wonderful family” and the hurt he’d caused his wife.

Paula Broadwell interviewed the general and his associates intensively for more than a year to produce the biography “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus,” written with Vernon Loeb, a Washington Post editor. CIA officers long had expressed concern about Broadwell’s unprecedented access to the director.

She frequently visited the spy agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va., to meet Petraeus in his office, accompanied him on his punishing morning runs around the CIA grounds and often attended public functions as his guest, according to two former intelligence officials.

In one incident that caught the CIA staff by surprise, Broadwell posted a photograph on her Facebook page of Petraeus with actress Angelina Jolie, taken in his 7th-floor office where only the official CIA photographer is permitted to take photos. Petraeus had apparently given Broadwell the photo just hours after it was taken.

Petraeus’ staff in Afghanistan similarly had been concerned about the time Broadwell spent with their boss on her multiple reporting visits to the war zone.

Following standard military procedure with senior officers, they almost always had another staffer present when she met with him at his headquarters, though they did have some meetings alone. Military officers close to him insist the affair did not begin when he was in uniform.

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