Attorney General Eric Holder is keeping quiet on possible federal charges against former CIA Director David Petraeus amid reports that prosecutors have recommended indicting him mishandling classified information.
“I don’t want to comment on what is an ongoing matter,” Holder said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “I think anybody who shared information that led to that report did so inappropriately. The determination has yet to be made and we will just see how things play out before any final decision is made.”Federal officials told The New York Times and NBC News’ Pete Williams this week that prosecutors wanted to bring charges against Petraeus, who stepped down from the CIA after acknowledging an extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. The investigation has sought to determine whether Petraeus leaked classified materials to his mistress.
According to Williams, the leaks are intended to put pressure on Holder to accept their recommendations and indict Petraeus, a politically explosive prospect given the retired four-star general’s celebrated military career and long relationship with leaders in both parties.
“This man has suffered enough, in my view,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, told CNN on Sunday. “He’s the four-star general of our generation … He made a mistake. He lost his job as CIA director because of it. I mean, how much do you want to punish somebody?”
Holder is set to step down from the Justice Department after six years once a replacement is confirmed and President Obama has already nominated U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch for the post. Holder declined to say whether he would make the final decision on the Petraeus investigation himself or whether he might hand it off to his successor should she take the position.