Petraeus sentenced to 2 years' probation for military leak

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Petraeus Pleads Guilty, Fined $100K, Gets 2 Years' Probation

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Former CIA Director David Petraeus, whose career was destroyed by an extramarital affair with his biographer, was sentenced Thursday to two years' probation and fined $100,000 for giving her classified material while she was working on the book.

The sentencing came two months after he agreed to plead guilty to a federal misdemeanor count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.

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Petraeus sentenced to 2 years' probation for military leak
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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The plea agreement carried a possible sentence of up to a year in prison. In court papers, prosecutors recommended two years' probation and a $40,000 fine. But Judge David Keesler increased the fine to "reflect seriousness of the offense." He said Petraeus committed a "grave and uncharacteristic error in judgment."

Appearing calm and wearing a business suit, Petraeus made a brief statement before he was sentenced, apologizing "for the pain my actions have caused."

Petraeus attorney Jake Sussman said this was not a case about the public dissemination of classified information, but the wrongful removal of materials.

But prosecutor James Melindres said, "This is a serious criminal offense. He was entrusted with the nation's most classified secrets. The defendant betrayed that trust." Melindres says Petraeus compounded that trust by lying to the FBI.

In a brief statement after the hearing, Petraeus said this marks the end of a two-and-a-half year ordeal, and he just wants to move on.

"I now look forward to moving on to the next phase of my life," he said, before walking to a waiting car and leaving.

General Petraeus: 'I Apologize'
Mark Zaid, a Washington attorney who regularly represents government employees and military members in national security cases, said Petraeus' punishment was lighter than what others in similar cases have received.

"There's a double standard," he said.

Zaid said he believes the government struck a deal to avoid trying such a high-profile former government official.

"It would have been a political quagmire," he said.

The prospect of probation for Petraeus had been raised as an issue in an unrelated case by supporters of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer convicted of giving a New York Times reporter classified details of an operation to derail Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Federal prosecutors in Virginia have urged a stiff sentence for Sterling, and probation officers have calculated a sentencing guidelines range of 20 to 24 years.

Supporters including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu argued that Sterling's expected sentence would be out of line with the deal that Petraeus secured.

The agreement was filed in federal court in Charlotte, the city where Paula Broadwell, the general's biographer and former lover, lives with her husband and children.

The affair ruined the reputation of the retired four-star Army general who led U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As part of his deal, Petraeus agreed not to contest the facts laid out by the government.

Prosecutors said that while Broadwell was writing her book 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 an April 2013 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 in November 2012, Petraeus had signed a form falsely attesting he had no classified material. He also lied to FBI agents by denying he supplied the information to Broadwell, according to court documents.

Petraeus admitted having an affair with Broadwell when he resigned as CIA director. 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.

Petraeus held the CIA post less than a year, but the core of his identity has been as a military man.

With a Ph.D. and a reputation as a thoughtful strategist, Petraeus 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' command coincided with the "surge" of American forces in Iraq and a plan to pay Sunni militias to fight al-Qaida in Iraq.

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