Key Players in the Gen. David Petraeus Investigation

BY Larisa Epatko  November 13, 2012 at 2:42 PM EST

On Nov. 9, President Obama accepted the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus after an FBI investigation into an email exchange revealed an extramarital affair between the former general and his biographer. We profile some of the key players in the evolving investigation.

View a timeline of events surrounding the Petraeus probe.


David Petraeus

Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
CIA Director David Petraeus testifies during the Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on Jan. 31, 2012. Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call.

David Petraeus is a retired four-star general who rose through the Army ranks to become commanding general of Multi-National Force – Iraq, then commander of U.S. Central Command, and later commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. The Senate unanimously confirmed him as CIA director in June 2011. He retired from the Army on Aug. 31, 2011.

Petraeus resigned as CIA director on Nov. 9, citing an extramarital affair that came to light during an FBI investigation into threatening emails sent by Paula Broadwell, his biographer, to another woman, Jill Kelley of Tampa, Fla.

A senior U.S. law enforcement official told NBC News that after questioning Broadwell and Petraeus, who both acknowledged their affair, the FBI formally concluded there was no basis for criminal charges.


Paula Broadwell


Commander of the International Security Assistance Force/Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus with author Paula Broadwell in 2011. Reuters/ISAF/Handout.

Paula Broadwell was a graduate student at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in 2006 when she met Petraeus, then a lieutenant general who had been invited to the school to speak about Iraq. She wrote in her book “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus” that she introduced herself to Petraeus at a dinner with students that night.

According to the Washington Post, Petraeus’ aides were nervous about her access to the married general, including spending extended time with him at U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa and later when he was serving in Kabul, Afghanistan, as commander of U.S. troops.

Broadwell served in the U.S. Army and Army reserves.

Petraeus’ affair with Broadwell, who also is married, came to light during an FBI investigation into “harassing” emails she sent to another woman, Jill Kelley.


Jill Kelley


Jill Kelley hosts a birthday party at her Tampa home. Photo by Bill Serne/NY Daily News via Getty Images.

Tampa, Fla., residents Jill Kelley and her husband Scott appointed themselves social ambassadors for military personnel at MacDill Air Force Base, near their home.

The couple became friends with Petraeus and his wife Holly, along with Gen. John Allen, who also served in U.S. Central Command, based at MacDill. Allen was named on Tuesday as part of an internal Defense Department investigation into emails he and Kelley sent each other.


Gen. John Allen

File photo of Gen. John Allen by Francois Lenoir/Reuters.

Marine Gen. John Allen succeeded Petraeus as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. He was nominated as the next commander of U.S. European Command and the commander of NATO forces in Europe. But his nomination was put on hold Tuesday, after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed that the Pentagon had started an internal investigation into email exchanges between Allen and Kelley.

An unnamed senior defense official told the Associated Press that some of the 20,000 pages of documents and emails between Allen and Kelley were “flirtatious”, though it was unclear who was writing the flirtatious notes. Allen has denied any wrongdoing.

Update: On Jan. 22, 2013, the Pentagon officially clears Allen of wrongdoing after the Defense Department’s inspector general investigates allegations of professional misconduct.


Unnamed FBI Agent

Rich Clement/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photo of FBI crest by Rich Clement/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

The FBI investigation that uncovered the Petraeus-Broadwell affair began last summer when Jill Kelley told an FBI agent friend that she was receiving harassing emails allegedly from Broadwell. The unnamed FBI agent was later removed from the case after supervisors determined he was infatuated with Kelley and had sent her shirtless photos, reported NBC News.

It also was an unnamed FBI source who contacted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office in October to raise concerns that nothing was being done about the Petraeus matter.

We’ll have more about the case on Tuesday’s NewsHour. (Updated with link on Nov. 14)