Beating The Rap

If, as I do, you think David Petraeus is a traitor who sold out his country for sex this story will not make you very happy. I suspect it was leaked on purpose by Ashton Carter who has also attempted to strip Petraeus of his rank and pension.

How David Petraeus avoided felony charges and possible prison time
By Adam Goldman, Washington Post
January 25 at 2:09 PM

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and FBI Director James B. Comey listened as prosecutors did a mock run through the government’s case, a preview of how they would present their evidence to Petraeus’ lawyers in order, they hoped, to force a guilty plea.

The presentation included felony charges: lying to the FBI and violating a section of the Espionage Act. A conviction on either carried potentially years in prison.

They were also considering bringing the same charges against his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell.

The government would never file those charges. Not everyone at Justice shared the prosecutors confidence, and lawyers for Petraeus and Broadwell separately pushed back hard, saying they would fight and beat the charges being considered by the Justice Department. Moreover, with its mix of sex and government secrets, a trial promised to be an uncomfortably tawdry affair, one some in government — as well as the defense — preferred to avoid.

As part of the agreement, Petraeus admitted that he improperly removed and retained highly sensitive information in eight personal notebooks that he gave to Broadwell. The Justice Department said the information, if disclosed, could have caused “exceptionally grave damage.” Officials said the notebooks contained code words for secret intelligence programs, the identities of covert officers, war strategy and deliberative discussions with the National Security Council.

The plea agreement was an outcome that left some in the Justice Department angry, particularly at the FBI, and some agents have argued privately that it will damage future efforts to secure prison terms in leak cases. But others in government defended the deal as the only viable conclusion to a case where a successful prosecution on the more serious charges was far from certain.

What first appeared to be a cyberstalking was rapidly expanding into a national security leak investigation when FBI agents copied the hard-drive of Broadwell’s computer and found secret documents. On Nov. 12, with her consent, agents searched Broadwell’s house.

In additon, investigators discovered more than 100 photographs she had taken of highly classified information from eight bound notebooks Petraeus had kept while commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan.

They also found other classified material in her possession linked to a 2003 period in which she served on a Joint Terrorism Task Force in Denver.

It eventually became clear to the FBI that Petraeus had given those journals to Broadwell as part of her research into the book; the FBI seized the journals in April 2013 after searching Petraeus’ house in Virginia.

Broadwell also recorded a conversation in which Petraeus told her the journals contained classified information, a statement the FBI would attempt to use against him.

But there was disagreement inside the Justice Department and FBI about whether Broadwell should be charged, with some arguing that she enjoyed protection as a journalist.

In June 2013, following harsh criticism of leak investigations targeting the media, Attorney General Eric H. Holder, said he would not indict any journalist for doing their job. Broadwell had media credentials while researching in Afghanistan, and she had written stories and op-eds in newspapers and policy journals.

Holder, who was planning to leave office and didn’t want to leave the case for the next attorney general, approved the settlement. Holder declined to comment. But he offered this explanation for his decision at a media event last year when asked if there was a double standard that allowed Petraeus to plead to a misdemeanor when his department had zealously pursued others for similar alleged crimes.

“There were factors that made the resolution of the case appropriate,” he said. “There were some unique things that existed in that case that would have made the prosecution at the felony level and a conviction at the felony level very, very, very problematic.”

I’ll point out that I also think Petraeus is an incompetent failure with no talent other than bootlicking.

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