Sen. Feinstein on Petraeus: ‘We need to get to the bottom of it’

Updated
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Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein said the CIA’s decision to not inform her or the committee about the resignation of Director David Petraeus was “atypical,” and irresponsible.

Feinstein told Andrea Mitchell on msnbc Monday that she was not sure why her committee was not briefed prior to the announcement of Petraeus’ resignation, and ruled out the possibility that they were not informed because the issue was highly sensitive.

“We have never violated that requirement by releasing any information on matters on which we are briefed, so there was no backstory as to why we wouldn’t be,” Feinstein said. “It’s very puzzling, and I think it was a mistake because this thing came so fast and so hard.”

Feinstein said new dimensions of the case continue to arise, raising additional concerns.

“It’s been like peeling an onion,” she said.

Petraeus’ resignation follows an FBI investigation that, as Mitchell said, “morphed into an investigation about the possibility of national security secrets” as Petraeus’ alleged extramarital affair with biographer Paula Broadwell was revealed.

According to NBC News:

Officials tell NBC News that the affair was revealed because Broadwell sent anonymous, threatening emails to Jill Kelley, 37, described as a close friend of the Petraeus family. Kelley, who lives in the Tampa, Fla. area, was a volunteer social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

Investigating who sent the emails to Kelley, the FBI discovered the connection between Petraeus and Broadwell, officials say.


As Mitchell summarized NBC News’ reporting on the relationship between Broadwell, Kelley, and Petraeus, Feinstein interrupted: ”Well, this is all news to me. We were not told this. This is the first time I’ve learned of this. This makes me think, ‘Well, how many other things are there, too?’”

NBC News also reports:

According to reporting by NBC’s chief justice correspondent Pete Williams, a senior law enforcement official said a call to a congressional staffer came from an agent who was initially involved in the investigation but who was later removed from the case because he knew an associate of one of the people being investigated.  The agent knew someone on the Hill and called that person, a Republican staffer, according to the official. But that phone call had no effect on either the course of the investigation, the involvement of Mueller – who was following it closely long before Cantor called him – or the decision to notify Clapper, the official says.


“So it was actually Eric Cantor, the majority leader, who was told about this at least 10 days before the president of the United States. How does that happen?” Mitchell asked.

Feinstein replied that it shouldn’t happen, and that the president should have been informed earlier. “You cannot keep these things from the people who hold the responsibility for oversight.”

Feinstein added that she was not sure her committee would call Broadwell or Kelley as witnesses for the investigation into Petraeus’ resignation and a possible security breach, but added that a thorough and bipartisan investigation is crucial at this time.

Sen. Feinstein on Petraeus: 'We need to get to the bottom of it'

Updated