Utah's Chaffetz Wants Answers in Petraeus Probe

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Tuesday, 04 Mar 2014 12:18 PM

By Melissa Clyne

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Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Republican on the House oversight committee, wants answers from Attorney General Eric Holder about the status of an investigation into former CIA Director David Petraeus.

Petraeus, a retired four-star Army general, resigned his CIA post in 2012 after revelations that the married father and grandfather carried on an affair with his married female biographer.

Fox News reports that Chaffetz penned a letter to Holder on Monday, pointing out that at a hearing last spring, Holder assured him answers regarding the investigation and the affair would be provided, yet he has heard nothing.

"Why is this investigation still ongoing?" Chaffetz wrote. "When will the investigation conclude? What are the issues still in question?"

"It's been nearly two years since the investigation started on Gen. Petraeus. If there is something serious and sinister, then let Congress know," Chaffetz told Fox. "If not, give this man's reputation back. But I worry that the White House is just holding this over his head to keep him quiet."

Chaffetz pondered whether the explanation for the lagging investigation might be tied to "the administration's flawed public narrative about the Benghazi terror attack."

"In the context of Benghazi, Gen. Petraeus knows a lot about what happened with those talking points, what was going on there at the CIA," Chaffetz said. "But he's now in silence mode because of this investigation. We want to get that done. I worry that the investigation is being held over his head to keep him quiet. And that isn't right."

NBC News reported last year that FBI agent Fred Humphries repeatedly raised concerns that his superiors purposely stalled the investigation until after the 2012 presidential election.

Humphries said a senior official told him to "just sit back and wait. Once the election is over, this will be quietly handled, and it will all be resolved."

Though both the FBI and Department of Justice have not commented on the Petraeus investigation, Fox News reported that it includes whether classified information was improperly shared.

In June 2012, Humphries received a cyberstalking complaint from Jill Kelley, a Tampa woman who had a social relationship with David and Holly Petraeus. Kelley showed Humphries emails she received, accusing her of "inappropriately flirting" with Petraeus, The New York Times reported at the time. The messages were traced to Paula Broadwell, who wrote a biography on Petraeus and with whom Petraeus was having an affair.

Chaffetz wasn’t the only lawmaker upset by investigation’s lack of transparency, according to Fox. Democrat Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, voiced dissatisfaction that the Justice Department initially failed to notify Congress of the probe.

"A decision was made somewhere not to brief us, which is atypical," Feinstein told NBC News. "This is certainly an operationally sensitive matter. But we weren't briefed. I don't know who made that decision."

In January, FBI Director James Comey said the Petraeus investigation has seen "good progress" and is an "active and enormous priority for the FBI."

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