Top Democrat warns Petraeus could face subpoena to force him to give evidence about Benghazi to Senate after he cancels testimony following resignation
- Dianne Feinstein threatens to subpoena former CIA director after he pulls out of appointment to give evidence about Benghazi attack
- Replacement will speak instead but Petraeus promises to testify in future
- His alleged mistress Paula Broadwell talked about Libya at college lecture
- Said there were Libyan prisoners in American consulate at the time of the September 11 attack that left four dead including ambassador
By Hugo Gye, Meghan Keneally and Lydia Warren
PUBLISHED:18:56 EST, 12 November 2012| UPDATED:18:56 EST, 12 November 2012
A top Democrat has warned that David Petraeus must testify to the Senate about the terror attack in Benghazi – and he could be forced to do so by legal means.
Dianne Feinstein insisted it was ‘unacceptable’ that the former CIA director had not yet given Congress an account of a trip to Libya he made shortly before his resignation last week, and threatened to seek a subpoena to obtain it.
Petraeus was due to discuss the CIA’s role in the raid which killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans before Congress on Thursday.
However, after he stepped down from the agency when it was revealed that he carried out an extra-marital affair with his married biographer, it was announced that his acting replacement, deputy director Mike Morell, would testify instead.
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Close: Paula Broadwell is thought to be David Petraeus’ mistress and she spoke publicly about the government’s handling on the attack on the Libyan embassy
Officials say Petraeus will testify at a later date, as speculation has raged about the possibility he could have shared confidential information about Benghazi with his mistress Paula Broadwell.
Feinstein, the senator for California who is chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC that the decorated former general would have to give details about a fact-finding mission he apparently made to Benghazi a few weeks ago.
‘I believe that there is a trip report,’ she said. ‘We have to asked to see the trip report. One person tells me has read it. And then we try to get it, and they tell me it hasn’t been done.
‘That’s unacceptable. We are entitled to this trip report, and if we have to go to the floor of the Senate on a subpoena, we will do just that.’
Threat: Dianne Feinstein warned that the Senate Intelligence Committee could subpoena Petraeus
However, despite the controversy over the timing of Petraeus’ resignation, just three days after the presidential election and less than a week before his scheduled testimony, the long-serving senator said she had no reason to think it was linked to the Benghazi scandal.
But she added: ‘The skin of the onion is getting peeled off. We don’t know what we may find.’
Suspicions over how much Broadwell knew about the Benghazi probe could complicate Petraeus’ testimony over the controversial issue.
Broadwell, a married army veteran who met Petraeus in 2006, was speaking at the University of Denver on October 26 when she was asked about the September 11 attack.
‘Now I don’t know if a lot of you heard this, but the CIA annex had actually – had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back,’ she said, according to the Daily Beast. ‘So that’s still being vetted.’
In response, the CIA denied that claim on Sunday when the tape of Broadwell’s talk surfaced, saying that it was not true. The agency confirmed that since 2009 they have not had the authority to detain prisoners.
‘Any suggestion that the Agency is still in the detention business is uninformed and baseless,’ they told the site.
The only other news station to report that claim at the time that Broadwell made her speech to the University of Denver was Fox News, which she references moments before making the claim about the alleged prisoners.
According to the clearest timeline of Broadwell and Petraeus’ alleged affair, which is said to have started in 2011 and ended in ‘early summer’ of this year, they would have been broken up for at least a few months by the time of this conference.
She went on to defend both the government’s controversial reaction to the crisis and the CIA’s lack of disclosure.
Disclosing possible secrets: At the Denver talk in October, Broadwell spoke about a theory that the embassy was holding a number of Libyan prisoners at the time of the September 11 attack
Making the rounds: She spoke regularly about Petraeus in an effort to promote her book
‘The challenging thing for General Petraeus is that in his new position he is not allowed to communicate with the press. So he’s known all of this, they had correspondence with the CIA station chief in Libya. Within 24 hours they kind of knew what was happening,’ she said.
‘If you remember at the time, the Muslim video, the Mohammed video that came out, the demonstrations that were going on in Cairo- there were demonstrations in 22 other countries at the time, tens of thousands of people and our government was very concerned that this was going to become a nightmare for us.
‘So you can understand if you put yourself in his shoes, or Secretary Clinton’s shoes, or the President’s shoes, that we thought it was tied somehow to the demonstrations in Cairo. It’s true that we have signal intelligence that shows the militia members in Libya were watching the demonstrations in Cairo and that did galvanize their efforts.
‘As a former intel officer, it’s frustrating to me because it reveals our sources and methods. I don’t think the public needs to know all of that.
Broadwell has come under intense scrutiny ever since Petraeus, the four star general credited with the surge in Afghanistan, submitted his resignation citing an extramarital affair.
Working benefits: Broadwell wrote that she learned a great deal by being mentored by Petraeus
Out: Petraeus resigned on Friday November 9 citing an extramarital affair
During the lengthy discussion, Broadwell’s high aspirations are clear as she spoke repeatedly about how she has had the life-long goal of becoming the National Security Adviser. When asked if she had the chance to talk to any previous NSA’s, she said that she had not but she considers ‘Maddie’ and ‘Condi’ to be great role models, referring to Madeline Albright and Condoleezza Rice by their nicknames.
Broadwell’s high achieving personality and her unusually comfortable nature around Petraeus raised concerns among Petraeus’ close advisers in the year leading up to the revelation of the affair.
To those outside the general’s tight-knit circle, however, news of the affair came as a big surprise when it was announced on Friday.
Petraeus was expected to make headlines when he was made to testify in front of Congress about what and when the CIA knew regarding the timeline of events in Libya when a group of terrorists stormed the consulate killing ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
The affair was discovered by the FBI when they responded Jill Kelley, a Florida woman and friend of Petraeus who allegedly received email threats from Broadwell.
Both Kelley and Broadwell are married with children, but that didn’t stop Broadwell from becoming defensive of Petraeus.
She supposedly told Kelley to ‘stay away from my man’. Though there were multiple threatening emails, none of them were considered criminal so the FBI has not charged the army reservist.
News of the affair ‘was like a lightning bolt’, said Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Petraeus was scheduled to testify in front of Congress on Thursday, but that has since been pushed back in light of his resignation.
Now his replacement, CIA deputy director Michael Morell, will appear instead of Petraeus.
Feinstein went on to say that just because Petraeus no longer works at the CIA, that does prohibit Congress from compelling him to testify about Benghazi at a later date
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