U.S. Markets closed

The FBI Investigation Of Petraeus Started As One Agent's Favor For A Friend

Michael Kelley

People are wondering why it was  the  FBI that led the investigation which forced CIA Director David Petraeus' to resign by exposing an extra-marital affair.

The simple answer is chance.

Scott Shane and Charlie Savage of The New York Times report that the involvement of the FBI began when Jill Kelley — an "unpaid social liaison" to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa  and family friend of the  Petraeus family — asked an FBI agent who is also a personal friend to look into  about a half a dozen anonymous e-mails accusing her of inappropriately flirting with Petraeus.

The FBI tracked the hostile emails using Gmail metadata—including the locations from which the emails were sent and other e-mail accounts accessed from the same computer address — and discovered that Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell had sent them. Agents then  obtained a warrant to monitor Ms. Broadwell's email accounts and found  sexually explicit e-mails from another anonymous account, which they eventually identified as belonging to Petraeus.

Officials told The Wall Street Journal  that investigators never monitored Petraeus' personal email accounts.

Lawmakers from both parties have objected to the FBI not telling anyone what they uncovered as early as last spring.  Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said  she would investigate the FBI's handling of the inquiry.

SEE ALSO: Petraeus' Downfall Proves Your Email Is Not As Private As You Think >

More From Business Insider