Unlike many stories about powerful Washington figures having secret affairs, the downfall of spy chief David Petraeus goes beyond sex. The scandal surrounding the decorated four-star Army general who once ran the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan involves questions of national security, politics and even the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead. Petraeus, 60, resigned Friday after acknowledging he had an affair with a woman later identified as his biographer, Paula Broadwell, 40, a fellow West Point graduate who spent months studying the general's leadership of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
FBI agents were at Broadwell's Charlotte, North Carolina, home late Monday, said local FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch. She declined to say what the agents were doing there. Video from CNN affiliate WCNC showed a handful of people getting out of vehicles, carrying boxes and bags into the house. None spoke to reporters, even when asked who they were. Days after Petraeus' resignation stunned Washington, information continues to emerge. Among other things, a video has surfaced of a speech by Petraeus' paramour in which she suggested the Libya attack was targeting a secret prison at the Benghazi consulate annex, raising unverified concerns about possible security leaks.
The affair came to light during an FBI investigation of "jealous" e-mails reportedly sent by Broadwell to a woman named Jill Kelley, a government source familiar with the investigation told CNN on Monday. Kelley, 37, and her husband Scott released a statement saying they have been friends with Petraeus and his family for more than five years and asked for privacy. Although Kelley lives in Tampa, Florida, she's known as a member of Washington's social circuit, according to the government source. The source has not spoken to Kelley, but says friends describe her as feeling like she is an "innocent victim."
Petraeus has denied having an affair with anyone other than Broadwell, according to a friend of the former general who has spoken with him since news of the affair broke. The scandal also is rumbling through the halls of Congress, where leaders in both parties are seeking answers about the FBI investigation and there's much speculation about the impact Petraeus' resignation will have into the inquiry into the Benghazi attack. Petraeus was scheduled to testify on the attack and the government's reaction to it this week. Here's a look at the major threads of this still-unfolding story:
Why does it matter? Security and Benghazi