Ex-CIA chief admits sharing military secrets with mistress
This July 13, 2011, photo made available on the International Security Assistance Force's Flickr website shows the former Commander of International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus, left, shaking hands with Paula Broadwell, co-author of "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus." The Justice Department is dropping its investigation of David Petraeus' mistress, Paula Broadwell, into whether she stalked a romantic rival online. (AP Photo/ISAF)
David H. Petraeus, former army general and head of the Central Intelligence Agency, at at the annual dinner for veterans and ROTC students at the Univerty of Southern California, in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, March 26, 2013. It marked Petraeus' first public remarks since he retired as head of the CIA after an extramarital affair scandal. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
CIA Director nominee Gen. David Petraeus testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday,June 23, 2011, before the Senate Intelligence Committee during a hearing on his nomination. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Paula Broadwell, center, participates in the Lake Norman YMCA Triathlon, August 24, 2013, at Lake Norman. Broadwell's affair with then Gen. David Petraeus brought her a wave of public attention. Since the revelation and investigation whether she was privy to classified national secrets Broadwell has shunned publicity. She is beginning a slow reentry onto the public scene in Charlotte. (John D. Simmons/Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency David Petraeus arrives for the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences awards Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, in Moffett Field, Calif. The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences recognizes excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life. The prize is administered by the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to advancing breakthrough research, celebrating scientists and generating excitement about the pursuit of science as a career. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Former Commander of International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan Gen. Davis Petraeus speaks during an armed forces farewell tribute and retirement ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
David Petraeus (L) and Team Rubicon Vice President Will McNulty speak onstage during a fireside chat at the Team Rubicon Salute To Service Awards at Skirball Cultural Center on November 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)
In this November 4, 2012 photograph, Paula, left, and Scott Broadwell are seen at the Patriot Gala, the annual black tie event at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Daniel Coston/Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
Former CIA director David Petraeus gives a speech at the Institute for National Security Studies during the 7th Annual International Conference at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art on January 28, 2014, in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel-Aviv. The event runs until January 29. (Photo credit Jack Guez, AFP/Getty Images)
Former CIA director and retired four-star general David Petraeus receives a plaque of appreciation after making his first public speech since resigning as CIA director at University of Southern California dinner for students Veterans and ROTC students on March 26, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Petraeus apologized in his speech for his actions that lead to him resigning from the CIA. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Former CIA director David Petraeus addresses a University of Southern California event honoring the military on March 26, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. In the first public appearance since stepping down last November as head of the CIA after admitting to an affair, Petraeus said he regretted and apologized for the circumstances that led to his resignation. (Photo credit Frederic J. Brown, AFP/Getty Images)
In the frame grab from C-SPAN Book TV video taken Feb. 6, 2012, author Paula Broadwell speaks to an audience about the book she co-authored, "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus," at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington. The scandal that brought down CIA Director David Petraeus started with harassing emails sent by his biographer and paramour, Broadwell, to another woman, and eventually led the FBI to discover he was having an affair, U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Petraeus quit Friday, Nov. 9, after acknowledging an extramarital relationship. (AP Photo/C-SPAN Book TV)
CIA Director David Petraeus, center, stands with Admiral James A. "Sandy" Winnefeld, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, right, before a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Holly Petraeus, wife of Army General David Petraeus, left, speaks while Elizabeth Warren, the White House adviser assigned to set up a U.S. consumer financial-protection bureau, listens during a press conference in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011. Petraeus was named to establish an office within the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau dedicated to military personnel and their families. (Photo credit Jay Mallin/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
CIA Director David Petraeus, left, looks out from the reviewing stand as troops pass by on Friday, Aug. 17, 2012, in Fort Campbell, Ky. Petraeus returned to Fort Campbell to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the famed 101st Airborne Division, a unit he once led in combat in Iraq.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
This Aug. 17, 2012 photo shows CIA Director David Petraeus during a ceremony at Fort Campbell, Ky. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
In this January 14, 2012 photo, Paula Broadwell, author of the David Petraeus biography 'All In' poses for photos in Charlotte, North Carolina. Petraeus, the retired four-star general renowned for taking charge of the military campaigns in Iraq and then Afghanistan, abruptly resigned November 9, 2012 as director of the CIA, admitting to an extramarital affair. Petraeus carried on the affair with Broadwell, according to several U.S. officials with knowledge of the situation. (T. Ortega Gaines/Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
U.S. Gen. David Petraeus, the top NATO and U.S. commander in Afghanistan, points to a colleague, unseen, during a meeting of the International Contact Group for Afghanistan in Kabul, Afghanistan Monday, June 27, 2011. Representatives from more than 40 nations are attending a meeting of the International Contact Group. The group's 11th meeting comes after President Barack Obama announced last week he was ordering 10,000 U.S. troops home by year's end; as many as 23,000 more are to leave by September 2012. That would leave 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
David H. Petraeus, former army general and head of the Central Intelligence Agency, speaks at the annual dinner for veterans and ROTC students at the University of Southern California, in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, March 26, 2013. It marked Petraeus' first public remarks since he retired as head of the CIA after an extramarital affair scandal (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
This Aug. 17, 2012 photo shows CIA Director David Petraeus, left, and his wife, Holly, during a ceremony at Fort Campbell, Ky. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
In this Feb. 1, 2009 file photo, Gen. David Petraeus, commander U.S. Central Command, left, stands with his wife Holly before the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Tampa, Fla. Gen. Petraeus, the retired four-star general who led the U.S. military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, resigned Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 as director of the CIA after admitting he had an extramarital affair. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
Natalie Khawam listens as her attornedy Gloria Allred (not seen) conducts a press conference on November 20, 2012, at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington. Khawam is the twin sister of Tampa, Florida, socialite Jill Kelley and wanted to correct misconceptions about her and her relationship with General David Petraeus and his wife Holly. (Photo credit Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images)
Paula Broadwell leaves her home on Monday, November 19, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by James Keivom/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
Paula Broadwell prepares to drop off her two children at school on Monday, November 19, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by James Keivom/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
In this January 14, 2012 photo, Paula Broadwell, author of the David Petraeus biography 'All In,' poses for photos in Charlotte, North Carolina. Petraeus, the retired four-star general renowned for taking charge of the military campaigns in Iraq and then Afghanistan, abruptly resigned November 9, 2012 as director of the CIA, admitting to an extramarital affair. Petraeus carried on the affair with Broadwell, according to several U.S. officials with knowledge of the situation. (T. Ortega Gaines/Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
Paula Broadwell, left, talks with 'Daily Show' host Jon Stewart, September 3, 2012, in Charlotte, North Carolina, at an afternoon barbeque in Myers Park, a fundraiser for veterans and wounded warriors held at the home of Shannon Lalor and Sami Aasar. (Pam Kelley/Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
A September 6, 2011 photo shows General David Petraeus (R) kissing his wife Holly after taking the oath of office as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during a ceremony in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington. Petraeus resigned as CIA director on November 9, 2012 after admitting to an extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell. (Photo credit Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images)
In this Nov. 13, 2012, file photo, Jill Kelley leaves her home in Tampa, Fla. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson says Jill Kelley can press her claim that the FBI and Defense Department violated her privacy when officials allegedly leaked information about her to the news media. Berman also tossed out more than a dozen other claims of government wrongdoing. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Former CIA Director David Petraeus, whose career was destroyed by an affair with his biographer, has agreed to plead guilty to charges he gave her classified material - including war strategy and the names of covert operatives - while she was working on the book.
The plea agreement carries a possible sentence of up to a year in prison and represents another blow to the reputation of the retired four-star Army general who led U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and was perhaps the most admired military leader of his generation.
Petraeus, 62, will plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material. The agreement was filed in federal court Tuesday in Charlotte, where Paula Broadwell, the general's biographer and former mistress, lives with her husband and children.
In court papers, prosecutors recommended two years of probation and a $40,000 fine. But the judge who hears the plea is not bound by that and could still impose a prison sentence. No immediate date was set for Petraeus to enter the plea.
As part of the deal, Petraeus agreed not to contest the set of facts laid out by the government.
Prosecutors said that while Broadwell was writing her book in Washington in 2011, Petraeus gave her eight binders of classified material he had improperly kept from his time as the top military commander in Afghanistan. Days later, he took the binders back to his house.
Among the secret information contained in the "black books" were the names of covert operatives, the coalition war strategy and notes about Petraeus' discussions with President Barack Obama and the National Security Council, prosecutors said.
Those binders were later seized by the FBI in a search of Petraeus' Arlington, Virginia, home, where he had kept them in the unlocked drawer of a desk in a ground-floor study.
Prosecutors said that after resigning from the CIA, Petraeus signed a form falsely attesting he had no classified material. He also lied to FBI agents in denying he supplied the information to Broadwell, according to court documents.
Petraeus' lawyer declined to comment. A telephone message left for Broadwell was not immediately returned. Her lawyer said he had no comment.
Petraeus admitted having an affair with Broadwell when he resigned as CIA director in November 2012. Both have publicly apologized and said their romantic relationship began only after he had retired from the military.
Broadwell's admiring biography of him, "All In: The Education of David Petraeus," came out in 2012, before the affair was exposed.
He held the CIA post less than a year, not long enough to leave a significant mark on the spy agency.
A Ph.D. with a reputation as a thoughtful strategist, Petraeus wrote the Army manual on counterinsurgency and was brought in by President George W. Bush to command multinational forces in Iraq in 2007, a period when the war began to turn in favor of the U.S.
Petraeus presided over the "surge" of American forces in Iraq and a plan to pay Sunni militias to fight al-Qaida in Iraq.
Petraeus was then promoted to commander of U.S. Central Command, which has authority over the Middle East. When Gen. Stanley McCrystal was fired in 2010 by Obama as commander in Afghanistan after his staff made impolitic remarks to a Rolling Stone reporter, Petraeus was brought in to replace him.
Since his resignation as CIA director, Petraeus has slowly taken steps to re-enter public life, going on the speaking circuit, becoming a scholar at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and taking a position at a private equity firm.
If he manages to avoid prison, Petraeus will receive far more lenient punishment than that meted out to others convicted of leaking secrets.
In 2012, former CIA officer John Kiriakou pleaded guilty to intentionally disclosing the identity of a covert agent to a reporter and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. Petraeus, then CIA director, hailed the conviction.
"Oaths do matter, and there are indeed consequences for those who believe they are above the laws that protect our fellow officers and enable American intelligence agencies to operate with the requisite degree of secrecy," he said at the time.
David Deitch, a former federal prosecutor who handled counterterrorism and national security issues, said those deciding Petraeus' fate probably weighed his decades of service to the nation when considering his punishment. Also, a public trial might have revealed classified material the government would rather keep secret.
"What is achieved by sending David Petraeus to jail?" asked Deitch, now in private practice in Washington. "What will be achieved in terms of deterrence, in terms of punishment, in terms of rehabilitation? The conclusion is probably not much."
Sen. John McCain, a longtime supporter of Petraeus, said it is time to consider the issues raised by the ex-general's extramarital affair closed.
"At a time of grave security challenges around the world, I hope that Gen. Petraeus will continue to provide his outstanding service and leadership to our nation, as he has throughout his distinguished career," the Arizona Republican said.