Many thought this week's news cycle would be dominated by the impending fiscal cliff deadline and the president's various White House meetings concerning the budget and deficit. The public and the media clearly weren't aware that a high-profile sex scandal was about to break.
Today, a torrent of news has emerged as the story of CIA Director David Petraeus's affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, unfolds. Late yesterday the FBI searched Broadwell's home in Charlotte, N.C. Shortly after that we learned, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, that the federal agent who initiated the investigation that uncovered the affair had been removed from the case due to inappropriate behavior, including sending shirtless photos to Jill Kelley, the woman who reportedly received harassing emails from Broadwell. And then came the biggest twist - an investigation of inappropriate exchanges between General John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, and Kelley. General Allen was slated to become NATO's supreme allied commander pending Senate confirmation. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has now asked that confirmation process be put on hold.
Meanwhile, concerns among lawmakers about the handling of the case are growing, with talk of subpoenas beginning to emerge. Tomorrow, the president holds a news conference at the White House, which will no doubt be dominated by questions about the scandal...and the fiscal cliff. That, after all, was supposed to be the story of the week. We'll discuss both topics and more today at noon ET on NOW.
Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown U./msnbc Political Analyst (@michaeledyson)
Ashley Parker, The New York Times (@ashleyrparker)
Jonathan Capehart, The Washington Post/msnbc Contributor (@capehartj)
Steve Kornacki, msnbc Co-Host, “The Cycle” (@stevekornacki)
Michael Waldman, President, Brennan Center for Justice
Benjamin Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine (@benwllacewells)