By Alicia M. Cohn - 11/12/12 05:13 PM EST
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Monday that Congress should have been told about the FBI investigation of David Petraeus before he resigned as CIA director last week.
"I think that they should have been told," Sanders said on MSNBC. "Congress ultimately has oversight over what goes on within the intelligence community."
The president reportedly was informed on Wednesday, the day after the Election Day, and many members of Congress were not informed until Friday.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) also said Sunday that Congress should have been informed sooner. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Pete King (R-N.Y.) separately said that the FBI should have informed the president before the election.
A report in The New York Times on Monday said officials at the FBI and Justice Department (DOJ) knew as early as this summer that Petraeus was involved in an affair.
Deputy CIA chief Mike Morell, likely to replace Petraeus at the agency, is expected to testify at a hearing this week on the September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya. Some members of Congress say Petraeus should still testify about events that took place under his authority. The attack in Benghazi led to the deaths of three Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
Sanders said Petraeus would not be a distraction from the looming fiscal cliff and negotiations over the deficit.
"I just came from a campaign in the state of Vermont, and the issue that's on people's minds is not David Petraeus; it's the economy, it's what's happening to the middle class, and it's how we deal with deficit reduction and the fiscal cliff," he said.