FBI uncovered Petraeus affair by chance

The FBI reportedly happened upon former CIA Director David Petraeus’s extramarital affair while investigating a complaint from a woman close to Petraeus who had received harassing emails from the general’s alleged mistress.

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The FBI traced those emails back to Paula Broadwell, a former military officer and Petraeus’s biographer, according to news reports. When law enforcement officials delved into her email account, it was apparent Broadwell and Petraeus were engaged in an affair.

The identity of the woman who filed the original complaint has not been disclosed.

Investigators said that when they found a private account linked to Petraeus in correspondence with Broadwell, they were initially concerned the retired four-star general's account had been hacked and that a security breach had occurred, officials told The Washington Post.

But that was not the case, as the sexual demeanor of the emails pointed to an affair. Investigators approached Petraeus two weeks ago about what they had discovered and told him no criminal charges would be filed, according to The New York Times.



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Petraeus asked to resign on Thursday because of the affair. The news became public Friday.

“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation,” he wrote in his resignation letter on Friday.

His wife, Holly, works at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau set up by the Wall Street reform bill.

Petraeus was installed as CIA chief in September, 2011. He previously was commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

CIA Deputy Chief Mike Morell will replace Petraeus atop the agency. He will also testify at a hearing this upcoming week on the administration's handling of the Benghazi attack, in which U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

--The Hill’s Carlo Muñoz has more on Petraeus and the fallout from his resignation here.